Summary: God’s word gives clear examples of mistakes to be avoided for the sake of our homes Yes, this sermon has 10 points!
I’m the youngest of 5 boys and a girl. There’s something good about being the youngest: you get to learn from everyone else’s mistakes. And my youngest brother, Ken, made some!
Now, Ken turned out just fine. He’s brilliant, my good friend, and a faithful preacher of the gospel. But while we were younger. I learned from Ken’s mistakes –
• Don’t stick a finger in the hot caramel of those caramel rolls when they 1st come out of the oven
• Make sure you come home within the time that Dad says to be home
• Keep both hands on the electric hedge trimmers when you’re operating them
• Never, never, never smart off to Mom.
I learned a lot, just by standing back and watching what happened when my older brother made a mistake. Maybe it made me less adventurous – but it also made me much wiser with less pain! Learning from mistakes is just a part of life, but if you can watch someone else’s mistakes and learn from that, it’s much easier.
As it turns out, much of the Bible is that way. Paul says that much of Israel’s history is a chance for us to learn from someone else’s mistakes:
Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did--and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did--and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did--and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us,
I want to echo those words of Paul today. I want us to look mostly at case studies where we can learn from the mistakes of other families and hopefully save our own from some pain.
The Bible has a lot of stories of successful families – where there are people of nobility and character who do things well and they end up being in homes that produce godly children who pass along that heritage. But it seems there are just as often stories about major foul ups that people make in their homes – mistakes that ruin families.
1st, there are the obvious things like:
• vowing to sacrifice your daughter as a burnt offering
• giving your handmade to your husband to father a child
• pretending to be your sister and marrying the man she was supposed to marry
• selling your brother as a slave to a group of traveling Ishmaelites
• having 700 wives and 300 concubines
• getting your father drunk to get him to father your child
• marrying a woman whose name is Jezebel
• failing to put your dirty socks in the hamper (I just threw that last one in there!)
These are things that caused a lot of problems in homes. But they’re also mistakes that seem very far removed from us. Most of us don’t need to be convinced not to sell our brother or sacrifice our daughter.