Summary: This is a strong sermon against the sins of this generation against our own children.

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GEN 42:22

Intro: Note the words of the text. “Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child?” The essence of sin lies in being committed against God. When men are fully convinced that they have disobeyed the Lord, and that this is “the head and front of their offending,” then they are brought to a true perception of the character of sin. Hence David’s penitential psalm has for its acutest cry, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” Yet the sword of sin cuts both ways, it not only contends against God but against his creatures too. It is a double evil. Like a bursting shell, it scatters evil on every side. Every relationship which we sustain involves duty, and consequently, may be perverted into an occasion for sin. As children, we sinned against our parents; as members of a family we sin against brothers and sisters; and against playmates and acquaintances. We can sin against a husband or against a wife, against an employee or against an employer, against a buyer or a seller. We can sin in public and sin in private, sin against our poverty and against our wealth. As the sea surrounds all shores, so sin beats with deadly waves upon all connected with our life. Our sin assails both heaven and earth, time and eternity, great and small, old men and children.

The text calls us to consider one particular form of sin, namely, sinning against a child. Every man, by his own conduct is educating the rising generation of the nation. If a man behaves improperly, if his speech is foul, if his conversation is polluted, he helps to educate children in the school of ungodliness. If, on the other hand, his ways are right, and by the grace of God he is brought to act morally and to speak truthfully, he is doing something to train up one for virtue and holiness. Our moral conduct sweetens or defiles the general atmosphere of society, and in children. I would declare that every man giving fuel to the fires of his lustful pleasures, if the presence of the angels and the Holy Ghost is not enough to silence your ungodly voice, at least consider the fair haired girls and the blue eyed boys against whom you sin dreadfully. Do not let the leprosy of your sin pollute your offspring. Were you about to utter a lascivious sentence? Withhold it, for it is not proper that little ears should so soon be desecrated by that which has become common enough to you, but will yet be shocking to them. Were you about to blaspheme? Is it not enough to curse your Maker? Why should you bring a second curse upon that harmless little one? Why teach those lips that will be all too ready to learn to speak hideous words? If you have any feeling left in you, respect the purity of childhood, and let the presence of youth be a reason for restraint in open sin. Charles Spurgeon said, “There are crowds of parents upon whose head the blood of their children will certainly descend, because they have launched them on the sea of life with the rudder set towards the rocks, with a false chart, a deceitful compass, and every other appliance for securing eternal shipwreck.” God, help us not to sin against the children!

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