As I write this Bible study, horrific wildfires are engulfing the Hawaiian island of Maui. To date, more than 100 people have lost their lives and hundreds more are unaccounted for. The historic town of Lahaina has been wiped out, and reports say it can never be fully restored.
As drone footage comes in, the devastation resembles a war zone … like Hiroshima after the atom bomb was dropped. Shockingly, the emergency warning system, the largest of its type in the world, issued no advance warning. I can’t help but weep and cry out to God for His help and mercy.
Yet alongside the horror and grief, the shock and awe, I seem to hear a warning bell. Is this a gripping picture of what is happening to our children? To the next generation?
Are the flames of sex trafficking, pedophilia, fentanyl, gender dysphoria and transgenderism, which leads to permanent mutilation, going to wipe out the next generation? Will the heritage (Psalm 127:3) God has entrusted to us look like Maui after these fires?
What can we do to guard our children?
Read Mark 10:13-16 and 1 Samuel 3:1-20.
Bring them to Jesus
- From Mark 10:13, who do you think could have been the “people” bringing the children to Jesus?
- What was their purpose?
- Where was Jesus when this incident took place? Mark 10:10.
- What places could the “house” represent today?
- Who hindered the children from coming? Mark 10:13.
- Why do you think they did so?
- Describe where this same scene is repeated today in homes, schools, libraries and churches.
- What children would come to Jesus if you brought them?
Teach them about Jesus
- Where was Samuel when he heard God’s voice? 1 Samuel 3:1-4.
- Describe the culture, values and/or conduct of those in the temple where Samuel lived. 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22.
- How is the culture in which our children are growing up similar to the culture in which Samuel was raised?
- How did God break through the wickedness and corruption surrounding Samuel? 1 Samuel 3:4, 6, 8. Describe how God speaks to the next generation today.
- As weak and ineffective as Eli was as a religious leader and mentor to Samuel, what did he do right?
- Describe how Samuel was taught to understand God’s Word. 1 Samuel 3:5-6, 8-9.
- Is it your responsibility to make sure the next generation hears and understands God’s Word? Psalm 34:11; 78:4-6. What will you do to fulfill your responsibility?
- What else has God said about teaching children His Word? Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:7; 31:12-13; Psalm 78:4-7; Joel 1:3.
- From the following verses, describe other young people God used during terrible times: 1 Samuel 3:1-21; 1 Samuel 17:1-51; 2 Kings 22:1-2; Isaiah 11:6; Jeremiah 1:6-9; John 6:1-13; 1 Timothy 4:12 with 2 Timothy 1:5.
- What will you do to teach a child how to listen to God’s Word, like old Eli taught Samuel?
Love them for Jesus
- In Mark 10:14, how did Jesus react to those who kept children from Him? What was His command? What was His warning? Why do you think Jesus reacted as He did?
- What had He just made clear about His love for children? Mark 9:36-37; Matthew 18:14.
- What clear warning to adults did Jesus give regarding children in Matthew 18:6? Apply this to today.
- What indication did Jesus give that He places a high value on children? Psalm 127:3; Matthew 18:10, 14.
- What promises did He give to those who care for children? Matthew 10:42; 18:5.
- What is at least one thing you can do for young people to let them know that God loves them? Do it. And remember, He said if you do this for them, you are doing it for Him.
Guard the heritage God has given us. Bring children to a place where they can encounter and be blessed by Jesus. See that they are taught how to listen to His voice as He speaks through His Word. And then love them to Jesus … tattoos, piercings, hoodies, green hair, ear buds and all.
Heed the warnings. Before it’s too late. ©2023 BGEA
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, which she co-authored with her daughter Rachel-Ruth Wright, is Preparing To Meet Jesus—Moving From Salvation To Transformation. It can be ordered from major booksellers online.