The first commandment with a promise is this:

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

God promises long life to those who honor their father and mother. I was reading Deuteronomy today, and I read a verse that has the same promise but is decidedly different in scope. 

You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.

Deuteronomy 22:7 (NIV)

The verse prior gives us the context. 

If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young.

Deuteronomy 22:6 (NIV)

There is a cycle in life that is holy, because God created everything to work in just the right way. Even in those areas, we might not think about, we know that the Lord has thought about them. Here are some other verses regarding the handling of animals that have stood out to me.

Do not slaughter a cow or a sheep and its young on the same day.

Leviticus 22:28 (NIV)

“Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God. “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”

Exodus 23:19 (NIV)

When I’ve read those verses, I might not have known exactly what they were dealing with or why they were given, but I knew in my heart, “It just isn’t right.” It just isn’t right to kill the young of an animal on the same day as killing the mother or father, and it’s not right to cook something in the very thing that was meant to give it sustenance. It’s a perversion of nature.

Why do I know it’s not right? Is it because I’m saved, or could there be something more to it? Romans tells us this: 

(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

Romans 2:14-15 NIV

This verse from Romans tells me that people are imbued with a conscience that helps them to determine right from wrong. If we’re born with this component, then why don’t we adhere to what it says? I think, for the most part, sin is something we learn to do. Recently, I wrote about Balaam and the incident at Peor. We are told something interesting about Balaam and the incident at Peor in Revelation.

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.

Revelation 2:14 (NIV)

Balaam taught Balak how to entice the Israelites to sin. Balak had to be shown how to lure the Israelites into committing idolatry and sexual immorality.

Recently I heard someone remark that they couldn’t turn on the television today without seeing one sinful thing or another. They complained that even the commercials were full of unwholesome things, we ought not to be seeing. I don’t own a television. I haven’t for many years, so whenever someone starts talking about some funny commercial on TV or there’s a meme out there that’s referring to something said on TV. I usually don’t know what people are talking about.

When I was a kid, I used to watch TV a lot. Something I remember about being a kid was that there was a certain time of the day when people were allowed to talk and behave in ways they weren’t allowed to at other times. This was called something like, “Late Night Television” and was geared toward adults. As I got older, I noticed the content of the programs before the late-night television broadcasting becoming more like those shown later on at night. What was happening, and what has happened, over the years, is that those behaviors that weren’t acceptable after a certain time were now becoming acceptable at any time. In the days of my parents, I know some behaviors were never acceptable at any time over the public airways. 

What happened? How did we go from a zero-tolerance policy on vulgarity, extreme violence, and sexual situations to seeing these things regularly? Here’s are some verses from Numbers that might shed some light on what happened.

10 “If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath 11 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. 12 But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the Lord will release her. 13 Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. a 14 But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. 15 If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he must bear the consequences of her wrongdoing.” (emphasis added)

Numbers 30:10-15 (NIV)

We are like the husband in verses 14-15 who saw what was wrong and said nothing about it. That’s why the content we see on t.v., in films, books, and elsewhere, we don’t like, is there. However, it’s not bad enough that we turned a blind eye to what was going on. No, because we did so, we have allowed the teaching that this content represents to permeate our culture and, in doing so, have “taught” that it is something acceptable.

Christians are taught to separate themselves from the world (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). Specifically, 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (NIV). Indeed, we cannot allow ourselves to be tied together with unbelievers and the sin that so easily entangles. But don’t we have a responsibility to not bury our heads in the sand while the world burns? Going on our merry way? I’m not saying to join in the sin, but turning away from it and doing nothing is silently approving of it.

So when we look around the world today and wonder why people are teaching others that right is wrong and wrong is right, we need to look in the mirror because it’s not the devil who’s to blame, and it’s not the television or that famous person over there. It’s us. We are the ones to blame for the state of the world today. What bothers me is that I don’t know how to fix it. I cannot undo the past to fix the present, and everything we might try and do to fix it today is like closing the barn door after the horses have gotten out. 

God have mercy on us and show us what to do! 

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.