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When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if an man fall from thence. (Deut. 22:8)

God Cares About Little Things…

When we first read that Scripture, we might think that since that was a statute, an ordinance for Old Testament Israel, it has nothing to do with us today, However, please do not shut your mind to the matter, because God has some things to say to us from this Scripture.

To really appreciate this text, we must remember that the houses had flat roofs, and the lifestyle of the people caused them to spend much time on those roofs. God set it within His Law to tell them to put up a battlement, or a railing, because if someone fell off and was killed, the householder would be to blame. In other words, it actually means you must build your home for the safety of your family and those who would come into the borders of your home.

This text of Scripture reminds us that the great Omnipotent God on the throne of this universe has a will about everything that concerns human lives. All we have to do is read the Law that God gave through Moses and we find that God goes into the “most minute” details of our lives. If you were going to be a part of God’s people back then, you could not take an attitude like people take today of “I am building my house. I am furnishing the money, so I will build it like I want to and it is none of your business.” God does not do the big things and leave the details to be filled in just the way you and I want to do them.

A commandment about a very little thing may be a very large command. A commandment about a very little thing, if we disregard it, can Bring us a “heap ‘o trouble”. Therefore, we might was well get it straightened out in our thinking that with God there are no great commandments and small commandments. He looks into the very details of our lives.

God is paying attention to a lot of things we might think He isn’t. Too many people feel they are going to make it all right if they turn from some of the grosser sins, but when it gets down to some of the finer things of God’s Word, the devil has them sold on the idea that God pays no attention to those little things. However, He does pay attention, and He has set up some laws and some governments that if we are going to be His people, we are going to have to abide by.

The Old Testament has some spiritual lessons in it, and they carry right over into the New Testament. There are some things that God has never changed His mind about. Many people think that when He gave His Son on Calvary’s cross, God manifested so much love that He changed His mind about everything---that sin is not as black anymore. Nevertheless, sin is as black as it ever was, and wrong is just as wrong in God’s eyes as it ever was.

He who guards the planets, guards the bird’s nests, as we read in Deuteronomy 22:6-7, “If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam [mother] sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.” Don’t tell me He’s not a God of minute detail! It will affect how long we live and how well we get along in life, by what attitude we take toward this law about bird’s nests.

Why was He concerned about the bird’s nests? Take the young if you are hungry and eat them, but do not kill the mother bird. People could take advantage of the mother bird because of her love for the young. You could not catch her any other way, but because she loves her young, she will stay right there and you can come right up on her. She will flutter at you and peck at you, but she will not leave her young; and because of her love for her young, you will be able to capture her. However, God said you had better not do it. If you kill off the mother birds, you will stop the species and it will become extinct; but if you let the mother bird go, she will mate again and bring forth some more birds, and the earth will be replenished with the species.

God said that if you do not obey this, it will not be well with you and you will not live as long as you ought to. I believe a lot of people die before their time because they handle God’s law carelessly.

What is the spiritual lesson for us as God deals with these more minute things? It is this: we cannot stop wantonness when we please. He who wantonly destroys a bird’s nest is starting something. Give him some time and he will cruelly break up a child’s home, just as he did that bird’s home. The things that bring destruction and heartache have a little beginning. None of us committed our first sin by doing something as big as robbing a bank. We broke a law of the home, a law of the school, a law of the city, or a law of God. We broke a small law, and that is all it took to develop us on to a stage of doing something much worse. Little tyrannies of childhood explain the big destruction we see in the more mature life of young people today.

Disobedience in small matters shows a very great contempt for God’s Law, while obedience in small matters shows a great respect for it. Who are the people who have the most respect for God’s Word? They are the people who “keep up on” the little things. James taught that to offend in one point was to be guilty of all the law.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure…

Deuteronomy teaches us a great lesson that we need to be reminded of: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. I feel there is a great lack among us---in the home and in the church---of pushing the message of prevention. There would not be so many sad happenings among us if there had been more teaching on prevention. The big end of the teaching is on the cure for sin, but how much teaching is being given to people on how to be prevented from getting into deep sin!

God deals with prevention. That is what the battlement was for. God said don’t you dare put up a new house without putting a railing around it, because if someone falls off, his blood will be required at your hand. His message was one of prevention.

Thank God for a second chance. Thank God for a God who will have mercy and help people after they get into trouble. But thank God for a God who is so interested in us that He would give us a way whereby we can prevent some things coming upon us if we will listen to His Word. You know what the old proverb is, although you do not hear it very often anymore: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure. Therefore, God teaches us that prevention is better than cure when He said to be sure, and build a battlement.

It is sad, but too many are caught with the spirit of the age: waiting to build the battlement when the danger appears; or as the old saying says, locking the barn door after the horses have been stolen.

In the text, God spoke of building a new house. Take our natural houses, the houses that we live in. We do not build expecting calmness all the time. We build in case the wind blows hard. We put plenty of strong studs in the walls and put up rafters close together and nail them all down tightly. We know it will not be calm every day, so our houses must be built to stand a strong wind or a heavy snow load---exceptional conditions.

In our Christian lives, God would have us understand that we must build the same way. People get wiped out in a storm in their experience because they did not build to stand the storm. Because there are some calm times in their experience, people get to feeling that they do not need to pray or read and build themselves up. And all the devil has to do is just blow hard and they are gone.

When Noah was told to build the ark, he was in a sunshiny country where it had never rained. Therefore, people thought he was a fool to build for a storm: nevertheless, the storm came. Furthermore, the storms are going to come in your life and in my life. “Mark it down”, no one ever lived who did not come into a storm area, and sometimes the storms come pretty fast and furiously. However, there is a God who loves us, and if we will listen to His Word, obey His statutes, and move according to His commandments, He will have us ready for every storm.

Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). There is a way to build for the storm. God wants us to build out lives for exceptional conditions, just as we build our houses.

The same thing is true in every avenue of life. For instance, ship builders do not build a ship for the calm sea. They build a ship for the roughest seas and the fiercest conditions the ship could encounter. Then it has no problem at all when the sea is smooth and calm.

We are continually, exhorted to be prepared for a crisis. This is what God means in the text. When you build a house, build a battlement---prevention building for exceptional conditions. God wants us to expect the unexpected. He wants us to be sure of the uncertain.

The text Scripture, along with other Scriptures, lets us know that precaution is better than retrieval. In other words, it is better to build a battlement and keep people from falling off the roof than to let them fall and then display your surgical skills of putting their bones back together…spiritually speaking. To prevent your children from becoming dope addicts, drunkards, or bound with the many bad habits of life, is much better than carrying a burden and breaking your heart trying to get them retrieved and back to God after they get in that shape.

If you will do it, you can build a battlement around your home so your children will not have to get into these things. Believe it or not, you do not have to give up your children to the worldly conditions and worldly habits if you will build according to God’s eternal Word.

Thank God, I had a godly mother and father who built a battlement around our house. Through godly instruction, through keeping the fear of God daily upon the hearts and minds of the children, there was a battlement built that made the deep things of sin seem heinous and fearful. I also thank God that the same thing is true in my own home.

I was called to the hospital emergency room one time where I found a woman and a man who used to attend services regularly. They were crying and wringing their hands because their daughter had taken an overdose of drugs and they did not know if she would live. How do children get into this stuff? It happens because the parents fail to keep up the battlement. We might shun it today and say, “I cannot do anything with then. I have turned them over to God.” You read that Scripture to me, which means: you can turn them over to God! Your children are your responsibility, and my children are my responsibility, and we will answer at the Judgment if we fail to keep the battlement around the home.

You need to have family worship. However, you say that we are in a different age and it isn’t necessary. But where are your children? How did they get there? You tore down the battlement and they fell off into deep sin that many of them would never have had to do.

The “most minute” details of God’s Word are necessary, and when you and I get so wise that we think we have a better way of doing something than God does, we are only heading for trouble and destruction. If enough Christian homes in the past generation in our great America had kept the battlement up, a lot of sad conditions would not exist that do exist today.

To prevent your children from becoming fastened with the deep sins that many are in, prevention is needed. Wise parents (and I might add to it, wise Sunday school teachers) will not spend their entire time telling children of salvation from sin, but they will spend a lot of time teaching them prevention from going in the deep sin that is around us. All who have children under their influence should impress and instruct as to raise a parapet of moral protection about them.

Here is the Christian application of the text: Even as when we build a house, we must build it not to endanger in any way the ones who live with us or visit us, so we must build our lives, not to lay any snare of destruction in the way of our families, our friends, or those that we are in contact with.

The battlement needs to be set up in two ways: one way is as a defense against the devil and the things he would sent into your home, and the other way is as a protection to your family and those who live under your influence in protecting them from falling into many of the pitfalls and snares they could fall into.

True Home-life Is Essential…

We are living in a floundering world that is shaking to the very foundation; and we all agree, I am sure, that the devil is striking with a deathblow at the home. If the home did not mean so much, why have the big moves of Satan in the last twenty years been right at the home? In many cases, there is just a house, not a home. I think most of you are well aware of the fact that it takes more than a house to make a home, and the enemy of souls has done much to destroy this, realizing that with true home-life destroyed, it is only a matter of time until nations crumble. Our nation is no better than our homes. Do you want to know why there is so much corruption from Washington right on down? Just consider the conditions of the home-life of the people. Since no nation rises above the conditions of the home, the devil is working to destroy the home-life, and in too many cases he has done it.

We are living in a time of broken homes. In some cities, according to the newspapers, there are more divorces than marriages, and that is a sad and disgraceful picture. If a godly battlement had been set up around the home, the home would have been protected.

If you will meet the conditions of God’s Word, you can build your home on the Rock and it will be protected from the many snares of the devil. Even as God has only one plan for salvation, He has the only plan for a happy home. I dare say, there are people who claim to be Christians who do not have a happy home; they just live there. We can just disregard God’s plan and do things our way, but we will never reap the benefits that God has ordained us to enjoy when we do them His way. In this day of terrible destruction, there needs to be, as never before, a battlement around our homes.

Home Is a Place of Service…

The housetop in Bible times was used for many purposes. In fact, Jesus even said to preach from it (Matthew 10:27). They actually held services on the housetops. It was on the housetop that Peter was praying at noontime, and he was not hanging on to some slate with his arm around the chimney. The housetop was a place in those days where the family spent a good part of their time. It is sad today that the family does not have a chance to get together in many cases, let alone spend time together.

There has to be some prevention because there is too much “falling off the roof”, and the only hope of preventing a lot worse things coming upon us is to get a battlement built up.

The housetop was used in Bible days for a place of service (work). You read in the Scriptures that when the spies came, Rahab was drying flax on the roof. The flax was dried, spun, and woven there. The women did a lot of their work on the housetop.

There is just as much Christianity in keeping a clean house as there is in attending worship services.

Life is not divided into secular and sacred. You have to be just as sacred in your secular life as you do in worship. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) Whether you are washing dishes, ironing clothes, changing the baby, or whatever you are doing, do all to the glory of God. In other words, do it in a way that God is pleased.

There is no difference between the sacred and the secular. If you are a Christian, you are a Christian everywhere. If you are a holy man or woman, you are a holy man or woman everywhere. Every bush is a “burning bush” where a Christian is, and every foot of ground under our feet is “holy ground”, whether it is in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the basement, in the garage, in the office, in the factory, or in the shopping center.

Young ladies, when you come home from school, there is as much salvation in lending a hand and helping a tired mother as there is in singing in the choir or going on visitation. More young people cannot keep an experience with God because they want to be religious in the services, but when they get home, they do not want to abide by the rules of good living. There is not use in singing, “Oh how I love Jesus!” and letting a tired mother pick up your dirty clothes and wash them, and make your bed, because God will not hear your song nor bless you. That all-seeing Eye is watching just as much in the home as He is in the church services.

I work enough with broken homes to know that a percentage of them derive from the point that a woman did not know how to (or would not) keep house. Thank God for vocational schools, but this teaching is to be done in the home. We are living in such a world that people want to “farm everything out”. God did not say to put up any battlement on the schoolhouse. Furthermore, if you will put it up on the home, and keep it up on the home, no matter how the school goes, you can keep your children straight.

The mothers need to do more teaching even though it is easier to do something yourself than it is to show your children how; otherwise, when they are on their own, they are not going to know how to do the necessary things. I have “held still” lots of times when I knew I could do a job a lot easier and quicker and watch my boys “flub around” with a wrench, because they had to learn. (Now, some of them are having the thrill of doing the same with their children.) There is a much easier way of doing a certain thing, maybe, then God’s way (that is why so many people do it that way), but it will not produce what God intended for us to produce unless we just take whatever time it takes to do it God’s way. It is sad, the young people who are turned out with no instruction. There has not been a battlement built around the home. The time has not been spent with them.

Read 1 Timothy 5:1-14 and Titus 2:1-5 and you will be made to know that this is a part of old-time practical home Christianity. It has to do with our living for God, and it is just as important as: do not lie, and do not steal. This fits in as another part of practical Christianity, and we cannot have God’s blessings on our lives if we overstep it.

I say this for the young men: Beware of those young ladies who are lazy loafers and spend all their time “prettying themselves up”. Just looking at a pretty woman, will not put many eggs in your stomach at seven o’clock in the morning.

I read one time of a fellow who married a girl who had never been taught how to keep house or how to cook, and she wanted to do it so badly, but she could not do it. The poor fellow about killed himself and got ulcers trying to eat what she fixed. He came home from work one night and she was crying (they can get most anything with tears =). He asked, “What is the matter now, Honey?”

She answered, “I made a cake for you, but Fido got up on the table and ate it.”

Her husband said, “Don’t cry; I can get you another dog like Fido.” (smile)

Home is a place of service. Much sadness would not have to exist, many hearts would not have had to be broken, many homes would not have had to end up in despair and ruin if there had been a battlement lifted up around the home and the home had been a place of service and everyone, especially Father and Mother, had filled their place in the home. The Bible tells us what to do. [ Continued... ] 

 

 


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