Monday, August 4, 2014

Hear and Learn


And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. (Deuteronomy 31:13 KJV)

Maybe before, but certainly since Moses, Jews have written their history. Anne Frank wrote hers for two years, keeping her thoughts in the diary she received when she was thirteen, and losing her life to the  Nazi Germany when she was fifteen. She wrote of every day life while living imprisoned by hatred that desired to wipe her people from the face of this earth. There have been many that tried to achieve that same goal. All have failed.

I expect she heard and learned, as generations before her:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 KJV)

Thus, since the before Moses, children have been diligently taught – but not all parents were diligent. Some know nothing thereof:

Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; (Judges 3:1-2 KJV)

The children of Israel certainly know of war today. We know it only from a distance, and attempt to distance ourselves further from it, afraid it might touch us personally. Perhaps we should heed David’s words:

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psalms 34:11 KJV)

David was repeating what had been passed down to him:

And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, (Deuteronomy 31:13a KJV)

He did not fear facing Goliath, he knew God was with him. He knew the power and authority of the Lord. He knew who would deliver him:

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. (1 Samuel 17:37 KJV)

All of this went through my mind as I read an anniversary article about Anne Frank. I believe we have been remiss. We have not taught her story in order that today’s children might hear and learn. To an extent, I agree with Francine Prose who wrote in that article:

What could be more "useful" than to view that era through the mind and eyes -- and in the words -- of a girl who wanted us to know who she was and what happened to her. And what could be more necessary than the story of a girl who wanted to grow up, to become a writer, to lead a full and normal life -- and was prevented from doing so, by the forces of prejudice and hatred, on a beautiful and otherwise ordinary August morning.

However, to ascribe prejudice and hatred as the reasons for her death denies the reality of an evil our generation has not taught to children either.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV)

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