Teach [these words of mine] to your children. Deuteronomy 11:19
On his twelfth Christmas, the boy eagerly awaited the opening of the gifts under the tree. He was yearning for a new bike, but his hopes were dashed—the last present he received was a dictionary. On the first page, he read: “To Charles from Mother and Daddy, 1958. With love and high hopes for your best work in school.”
In the next decade, Chuck did do well in school. He graduated from college and later, aviation training. He became a pilot working overseas, fulfilling his passion to help people in need and to share Jesus with them. Now some sixty years after receiving this gift, he shared the well-worn dictionary with his grandchildren. It had become for him a symbol of his parents’ loving investment in his future, and Chuck still treasures it. But he’s even more grateful for the daily investment his parents made in building his faith by teaching him about God and the Scriptures.
Deuteronomy 11 talks about the importance of taking every opportunity to share the words of Scripture with children: “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (v. 19).
For Chuck, the eternal values planted when he was a boy bloomed into a lifetime of service for his Savior. With God’s enablement, who knows how much our investment in someone’s spiritual growth will yield.
Who invested in your spiritual life as you were growing up? How can you direct children’s hearts to the wisdom found in Scripture?
Father, help me take time to read the Bible and share it with others.
Download these seven devotionals from Our Daily Bread for Kids at go.odb.org/ODBforKids-7.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, books were named for their opening words. Deuteronomy was called Devarim (“words”), representing the opening phrase of Deuteronomy 1:1: “These are the words Moses spoke.” In our Bible, books were often named for their purpose, which explains the title Deuteronomy (“second law”). Deuteronomy records a second telling of the Mosaic law, which was important for two reasons. First, the people entering the land were a different generation than the one who had received the law at Sinai forty years earlier. That generation had died in the wilderness because of their rebellion. Second, the people had been together for these four decades as one vast tribal community. Upon entry into the land, they would scatter to the parcels set aside for each of the tribes. These significant realities made a retelling of the law a timely preparation for a different way of living than they had known in the wilderness.