Family Devotion

by Gene Taylor

"O LORD, correct me, but with justice; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing. Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, who do not know You, and on the families who do not call on Your name; for they have eaten up Jacob, devoured him and consumed him, and made his dwelling place desolate." (Jeremiah 10:24-25)

The above prophecy was made to Judah after the ten northern tribes had already been carried into Assyrian captivity. The southern tribes refused to learn from that experience and continued to turn their backs on God.

Jeremiah prophesies that Judah would also fall captive to a foreign power, Babylonia. It is not surprising to find the fury of God poured out on heathen nations, people who did not know, recognize or believe God. But it is surprising to read that the "fury" of God would be poured out on "the families who do not call on Your name." These were families of the Jews who failed to worship God as they should.

God demanded that the Jews assemble for public worship. For example, Jeremiah 26:2 required them to go to Jerusalem for worship. But God also demanded families gather and call on His name as families. "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deut. 6:6-7).

This same principle is taught in the New Testament. "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). This principle, devotion as a family, should characterize all families, including mine and yours, but, sadly, it seems to have little application today among many who claim to be children of God and put the Lord first.

Why Have Family Devotion

There are many reasons to have worship as a family. They include the following.

What to Do in Family Devotion

Conclusion

If you are too busy to spend time teaching and studying God's word with your children, put on the brakes and slow down. It is a terrible mistake to think that children get all the spiritual instruction they need at public classes and worship services.

If you have a family devotion, great. If not, start now. It could mean eternal life for both you and your children.