Monday, November 09, 2009


Childhood is shaped by many factors, but the places of residency and the people we encounter in those places echo throughout our lives like the ripples after a stone is thrown into a pond. When Roy graduated from seminary, our fervent prayer included a ministry position in a place our daughters could call “home.” A place where they could feel safe and accepted. As you can imagine, the odds of a pastor‟s family remaining in one location for the duration of his children's school-aged years are about the same as a polar bear‟s vacation in Hawaii. Still, we prayed. And God provided Nappanee, Indiana. During our fourteen years in that quaint little community, we served two churches – one five minutes from our home, the other twenty-five minutes away. Both congregations were filled with loving people, who shared the vision for our daughters' formative growing-up years. Pictured at left are folks from both of our churches, who helped load our moving trucks, when the Lord called us to leave Nappanee in 2007. We know now more than ever, it's not just the PLACE that helps us raise our kids. It's the PEOPLE that impact our children's lives as well.

Nappanee was surrounded by Amish farms, and many of the Amish children attended public school until they entered the factory workforce after completing eighth grade. Much to our girls' dismay, the Amish children often excelled in reading. “Of course they win the reading contests,” our girls would often complain. “They don't have a TV or computer!” Emily still turns crimson when I mention "Linda," an Amish girl, who won all the “Book-It” contests in her elementary classes.

But it wasn't just the PLACE or the PEOPLE responsible for building our daughters' godly character. Ultimately that duty – that privilege – fell to us, their parents. As I read the Scripture for today's devotional, I was deeply saddened for Job's daughters. Yes, they sinned. But I believe it was their father, who committed the greater sin of omission.

Gen. 19:30 – “Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.” (emphasis added)
  • Lot is standing in the middle of this little town with a pillar of salt wife and his two daughters. Why is he suddenly is SO AFRAID that he decides it‟s better to live in a cave after all? Why wasn‟t he sufficiently when God first instructed Lot to go to the mountains? Perhaps Job is like so many of us and requires a “bulldozer” of circumstances to get his full attention.
Gen. 19:31 – “One day the older daughter said to the younger, „Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth.‟” (emphasis added)
  • After we recover from the shock of this daughter‟s repulsive thought, notice that the intimate act of marriage is no more than just a “custom all over the earth.” There seems to be no recognition of godly intent or intimacy, no inkling that Uncle Abraham‟s teachings have made their way past the gateway of Lot‟s mind to his daughters.
Gen. 19:32-33 – “„Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.‟ That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.”
  • Consider the sordid nest of sin these verses represent. Who do you believe is responsible before God for which wrong act? Lot became drunk. But what about his neglect of godly training for his daughters? Where should the line be drawn between the daughters‟ choice and their ignorance? Thankfully, you and I will never judge Lot or his daughters. We judge only our own actions. Am I doing all I can to inform, model, and train those in my household, in my church, in my community about the love of Jesus Christ?
Gen. 19:34-35 – “The next day the older daughter said to the younger, „Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.‟ So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.”
  • Sin grows and multiplies, when there is no foundation of conscience laid for checks and balances.
Gen. 19:36-38 – “So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.” (emphasis added)
  • Moab sounds like the Hebrew for from father, and Ben-Ammi sounds like the Hebrew for son of my people. Lot‟s daughters chose the names of their sons, and the names left no doubt of incest. Think about the chain of Lot‟s decisions that led to this legacy. Lot chose the beautiful plain of Jordan, when Abraham said they needed to separate their wealth. Lot delighted in city life, associated with sinful men, and became a judge at the city gate. He argued with God‟s mercy at Sodom, but at the last minute chose to obey out of fear and live in a mountain cave. Imagine Lot‟s life through his daughters‟ watchful eyes.
Lord, remind me that I‟m being watched. My children and the children of others are learning from my choices, my words and my actions. Not just children, but those young in the faith are also watching and learning from those of us who have walked with You for many years. Father, teach me to hold up each decision, study it, examine it in the Light of Your wisdom…and grace.


dorian.yoder said...

I remeber this sad day like it was yesterday...hope you are all doing well.

Mesu Andrews said...

In so many ways it does seem like yesterday, and yet it seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? We are well, my friend. Hope you guys are doing well, too. I get on facebook once in a great while and see that Randi is still in CA and Ali is still a doll! Blessings on all of you!