Receiving Message from God through Parent

God may alert a child to an opportunity by prompting the child’s parent to pass the information as parental instruction, advice, or request. The information could be delivered as part of normal parent-child interaction with neither the parent nor child recognizing at the time that the information is a special message from God to the child. The child will receive the message and progress toward the opportunity if he/she has a habit of listening to the parent with intent to understand and implement the parent’s information.

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This study concludes a series on understanding that God sends messages to children through their parents. We examine information based on four previous sessions to understand what a parent and child need to do to ensure God’s messages to the child through the parent are delivered and received effectively. Each message could present an opportunity for the child to encounter a life experience or accomplish a specific objective. Therefore, the child needs to receive the message effectively in order to preserve such opportunity. The examples used in the sessions appear well suited for the study as they include information to enable understanding how the parent and child in each case communicated effectively.

Wandering in wilderness for brothers
Wandering in wilderness for brothers
FreeBibleImages.org

Based on information from Joseph Called to Mission and David Called to Mission, we learn that God may direct a person toward an opportunity by positioning a need in his/her path. The person will encounter the opportunity if he/she recognizes the need, commits to providing service to address the need, and perseveres. In the case of Joseph, for example, the opportunity was his call to undertake a special mission to Egypt. For David, the opportunity was to confront Goliath.

Also, we learn from the two examples that God may often position a need in the path of a child by prompting the child’s parent to pass information to her/him. He may provide the information to the parent clearly so the parent is aware the information is from God and is for the child. For example, Eli was aware that God wanted to speak to Samuel.

Father sends son on errand
Father sends son on errand
freebibleimages.org

Alternatively, God may prompt the parent one way or the other to deliver information to a child without the parent being aware of the prompting. The parent passes the information to the child as part of normal parent-child interaction but neither the parent nor the child recognizes at the time that the information has been prompted by God. This category of messaging a child through the parent is important because of being channeled through normal parent-child interaction. One example is Joseph’s father sending him on an errand that became God’s call to Joseph to undertake a mission to Egypt. In another, David’s father sent him on an errand that became God’s call to David to confront with Goliath.

The information could be passed in the form of parental instruction, advice, request, or any other form of parent-child interaction. This bible study focuses on understanding the behavior, attitude, or habit of a child or parent that affects the effectiveness of passing and implementing such information in order to encounter the opportunity that God is presenting to the child through the information.

Responsibility of a Child
in Parent-Child Interaction

To receive God’s message through parent, the child has to be available to the parent and always listen with intent to understand and implement the parent’s information. Such a habit arises from positive fear of parent. As we discuss in a previous bible study under Fear of God, Parent and Others, positive fear of parent means always seeking to please the parent through obedience, love, and wholehearted service. Positive fear motivates respect and appreciation for parents. The child genuinely desires to be good to the parent and, thus, is attentive to the parent and seeks to understand and implement information provided by the parent. An important corollary is such a child also desires to be good to other people and things important to the parent because he or she recognizes that one way to be good to a parent is to be good to something or someone important to the parent. Thus, positive fear of parent motivates a child to be good to others and places the child on a path to learning sensitivity to the needs around him/her. However, let’s postpone that thread to focus on positive fear of parent motivating a child to be attentive to the parent and seek to understand and implement the parent’s information.

Samuel responds to Eli
Samuel responds to Eli
Moody Publishers FreeBibleImages.org

For example, as we discuss in the Call of Samuel, Samuel went to Eli repeatedly because he thought Eli called him [1 Samuel 3:5]: “And he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ But Eli said, ‘I did not call; go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down.” He repeated this three times, until Eli realized on the third time that God was calling the boy. He went to Eli repeatedly because he thought that Eli needed something from him. He presented himself to Eli to understand what Eli needed so he could assist his master to provide for the need. He sought to please Eli by being attentive and obedient to him. The interaction illustrates that Samuel had a habit of making himself available to Eli and listening to him with intent to understand and implement information that Eli might provide. This habit prepared him to receive messages that God sent to him through Eli, like in this incident.

In the examples of Joseph Called to Mission and David Called to Mission, each subject child (Joseph or David) received an errand from the parent, understood the objective of the errand by listening to the parent, and was determined to execute the errand as instructed by the parent.

Route for father's errand
Route for father’s errand
FreeBibleImages.org

Joseph understood that completing the errand satisfactorily meant finding and interacting with his brothers to “… see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me” [Genesis 37:14]. Therefore, when he did not see them in Schechem, he searched for them until he learnt they had moved to Dothan, then he went to Dothan to find them. Similarly, David understood that completing his errand satisfactorily meant meeting and interacting with his brothers to “… see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them” [1 Samuel 17:18]. Each of them was determined to complete the errand in order to return satisfactory information to the parent because he listened to the parent with intent to understand and implement the parent’s information.

David witnesses Goliath's challenge
David witnesses Goliath’s challenge
freebibleimages.org

The perseverance of each child led him to an encounter that resulted in transitioning from his parent’s errand to the mission for which God took him there. Joseph encountered his brothers’ plot to harm him and was sold to merchants that placed him on a path to his eventual mission. David encountered Goliath while talking with his brothers, witnessed that Israel’s fighting men were terrified, and decided to confront the challenge. His decision placed him on the path to his eventual mission. Each mission was life-changing and of great consequence and was channeled to the child through normal parent-child interaction. The child received the message and executed the mission because of listening to the parent with intent to understand and implement the parent’s information.

Responsibility of a Parent
in Parent-Child Interaction

Parental responsibility in parent-child interactions flows from the parent’s responsibility to train the child. As we discuss in a previous bible study under Parental Responsibility Based on Childhood of Jesus, God assigns to parents the responsibility to provide for the basic needs of a child: physical basic needs for food and drink, clothing, and shelter; and non-physical basic needs for protection and community values. Providing community values to a child means training the child to become a God-fearing member of community.

God defined parent, parental responsibility, and family training when he said of Abraham: “… For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him” [Genesis 18:18–19]. Our discussion of parental responsibility in this bible study focuses on understanding habits that may affect delivering and receiving God’s message to a child.

Eli directs Samuel
Eli directs Samuel
Moody Publishers FreeBibleImages.org

LISTENING TO CHILD Eli received and delivered God’s message to Samuel because he listened patiently and responded thoughtfully to Samuel, notwithstanding that the child came to him repeatedly with no obvious cause and at a time that Eli would rather be left alone. Because he had a habit of taking the child seriously and considering his actions thoughtfully, he realized after the boy’s third attempt that it must be God asking to speak to Samuel. Eli did not succumb to feeling pestered and did not react angrily to the irritation of the moment. Instead, he listened carefully, pondered over the occurrences, and responded thoughtfully.

 

CLARITY OF PARENTAL INFORMATION Joseph’s father (in Joseph Called to Mission) and David’s father (in David Called to Mission) each stated the objective of the errand clearly to the child. In each case, the child was to assess the brothers’ condition and bring information back to the father. Each child understood the objective clearly and the understanding was critical to his execution of the errand and transition to the real mission. Although both examples are about errands, clarity of parental information to a child is not limited to errands. A parent has responsibility to ensure the essence of a piece of parental information is understood clearly by the child. A child needs clear understanding of a parent’s information in order to implement the information.

HOLDING CHILD ACCOUNTABLE A child should be held accountable when he/she does something wrong like failing to notice a need that the parent judges to be within his/her range, terminating work on a task without accomplishing the objective, dodging responsibility, or failing to do anything that the parent judges the child ought to have done.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE INFORMATION? Neither Joseph’s father nor David’s knew that the errand he had just defined for his son had any special significance. Similarly, a present-day parent will most of the time not know that a particular instruction, advice, or request to a child will take on any special significance in the child’s life. But it could. Therefore, a parent should be as deliberate and clear as possible in every parent-child interaction, because any information that the parent provides to the child could well be important in the future or initiate a sequence of events that leads to something of greater significance.

Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
wikipedia.org

Honor Your Father and Your Mother …

This is the fifth commandment and one with an attached benefit: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” [Exodus 20:12]. The commandment promises successful life for positive fear of parent. One connection between the two is that a child that has positive fear of parent will listen to the parent with intent to understand and implement the parent’s information. Such a child, therefore, will receive and implement messages that God sends to the child through the parent and will encounter success as the messages lead to opportunities that God has prepared for him/her.

Summary of What We Learned

God may alert a child to an opportunity by prompting the child’s parent to pass the information as parental instruction, advice, or request. The information could be delivered as part of normal parent-child interaction with neither the parent nor child recognizing at the time that the information is a special message from God to the child. The child will receive the message and progress toward the opportunity if he/she has a habit of listening to the parent with intent to understand and implement the parent’s information.

More Information

Please watch this bible study on video at VIDEO_LINK , listen to or download the audio at AUDIO_LINK . You can also download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation from PDF_LINK.

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