Thursday, September 27, 2007

So, say that (hypothetically, of course) you are part of a church body studying through the old testament, and you have been encouraged to read through - -oh, let's say . . . the account of Israel's exodus from Egypt (for example)

and say that your four year old son sees you sit down with your bible and begs you to read out loud to him . . . yeah! . . . of course you will read to him from God's good, holy scriptures - - the marvelous account of the next step in the fulfillment of the wonderful promises made to Abraham!
things are looking good through chapter 9 (you wonder if maybe your son's thoughts have become more focussed on lining up his playmobile horses than on the great I AM's plans to call his people out of slavery) when suddenly he looks up and asks "but why were all of the Egyptians covered in boils, if Pharoah was the one who refused to let the people go? that doesn't seem fair . . . "
you fumble your way through an answer, not sure if it made too much sense, but (slightly unnerved), you continue . . . he seems happy enough with the answer you gave. you go on a bit longer. . .
then he stops you - - "wait" he asks,"did that say 'pharoah's heart was hardened'? So does that mean that God made pharaoh's heart hard and that Pharaoh did the bad things because of how God made his heart? "
oh stink! oh stink! I didn't even ask that question myself until I was in college, and then only because some bible professor prompted me to; how am I supposed to explain that one to Malachai!? ! What was the answer anyways?
I mean . . . if, hypothetically, if you had a four year old ask you that specific question, what might you say?
oh dear, I have to admit that I brushed that one off a bit (because, geesh . . . I still had ten chapters to get through, AND I had to format pictures for three more pages of our website before I could go to bed and I was already tired and fuzzy-brained!) but I will think it through carefully - - try to find Malachai appropriate words and images to best answer his concerns and I will try to create a special time with my boy tomorrow to snuggle and chat and make sure his four year old heart and mind are satisfied with my explanation. And maybe he'll want to talk about it some more (or maybe he'll just want to show me the farm he set up with his playmobile!)


Jacquelyn said...

But it says an equal # of times that Pharoh hardened his own heart right? If you end up with a good synopsis of how to explain predestination to a 4 year old I'd love some tips!

Megan C. said...

It's amazing how much children can understand from Scripture. I remember reading through the OT after dinner when I was in elementary school. We memorized the invididual judges and what they were known for and I still remember much of what I learned then.

GreenEggsandSam said...

What an great account...I felt like I was there watching're so cool. I appreciate your honesty and love!
Good job reading your Bible AND to your child!

Desiree said...

What a pickle!! This is definitely a situation that requires delicacy and wisdom. I will pray that the Lord give that to you. Makes one really appreciate our godly parents and how hard they tried to "teach us in the way we should go". Thank goodness Caleb is still too young to ask these questions. I may be calling you in a couple years for advice!! ;)

lizandbunyan said...

Wow. How smart that boy is of yours. I remember thinking that same question, but like you was quite a bit older when I asked it. Ok so it was just last year, but that is besides the point. ;)
Update us after you have the conversation so we can learn how to have good responses to our very precocious preschoolers.

Heather said...

I agree with everyone else- please send notes. That is especially intimidating to think about. How to explain it in a way that they will understand well. Lemme know what you said. :)

darcie said...

It's good, Naomi; he's asking and you're pondering. . .isn't it a privilege to interface with our children about the mysteries of God-He the potter and we the clay, broken vessels upon whom our God has set His amazing love. You know, explaining the marvels of the holiness and love of God can't be unraveled in a day, and such is the reality of Deut.6:6-7 in our families. By the way. . .you did challenge me with some of those questions and I admit to being tempted to plastic patch the answer.