My seven yr. old daughter is now at the reading level where she can read the Bible for herself. She’s really enjoying it, too. Even though we’ve taught her Biblical truths over the years, when she reads it for herself, she gets all excited. (Mom, look, it does say God created the world. It is true!) Suddenly the stories become more than cute songs and flannel graphs.
She also has a small notebook. It sometimes is a diary, sometimes an imaginary stenographers pad when she is playing secretary, or sometimes a Bible journal. The other day I was straightening up the living room when I picked up her notebook to put it away. The page was open to her most recent entry, and this is what was written:
What does it mean harod was go to whrship him and was going to kill him?
Aside from the obvious spelling and grammar errors, I was impressed. How did she come up with that? So I asked my husband and my boys, assuming one of them had sat with her and talked about it. No one.
Although I try to read Scripture reflectively or inductively, I have never sat her down and taught her to do that. I figured she was too young yet to think deeper about what God is saying. I guess I was wrong.
Her entry, however, caused me to stop and think. The surface meaning is obvious: Herod lied because he had other intentions. (Matthew 2) But then my mind began to think about and ask various things.
First, I noted how innocent a child can be. So simple. She just couldn’t understand how worship, which to her is joy and love, can be followed by hate strong enough to kill. (of course you and I know Herod didn’t actually worship Christ).
Then I wondered, “How many people out there give lip service, telling us what we want to hear while devising wicked plans in their heart”? What about me? Have I ever said things that sound so good, perhaps so religious, so Christian, when my heart in reality is far from the words that came out of my mouth?
Then there is jealousy. No doubt Herod was jealous over his rule and authority; and naturally we think negatively of that and of his following actions. But do I have jealousy? If the stakes were high enough, would my jealousy cause ungodly actions? Murder, or hate strong enough? (see what Jesus has to say about that in the Sermon on the Mount)! Or do I keep it at lesser sins, like damaging gossip or simply ignoring that individual?
Worship and kill, hate and ignore, covet and slight, say one thing and do another.
What does it mean?
What do you think it means?