August 7, 2017

Natural Consequences

August 7, 2017

Daily Reading (Click to read each Scripture)

Psalm 78:1-8, 17-29
Deuteronomy 8:1-10
This week’s sermon text: Romans 1:18-21

Field Notes
There is a parenting philosophy that asserts that children should be allowed to experience the natural consequences of their behavior. For example, if a child balks at putting on a jacket when he or she goes outside to play, he or she will suffer the consequence of getting cold. Of if they forget their homework, they’ll get a zero for the day in class. The idea is that natural consequences are more effective in shaping desirable behaviors than arbitrary punishments that have little or no connection to the specific misbehavior. And if children do what is right, they experience positive consequences like staying warm on the playground or doing well in school.

Our reading for today states, “Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the LORD your God disciplines you” (v.5). God used the Israelites’ 40 years in the wilderness to train them how to be God’s chosen people. The hardships they endured taught them to seek God and depend upon him for their every need. The natural consequence of their trust and dependence upon God was having their needs met – even in unexpected ways like manna and clothing that didn’t wear out in forty years. And their trust was ultimately rewarded by the blessings of the Promised land: streams of water, wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive trees and honey.

Questions for the Field

  • Can you think of a time in your life when God allowed you to experience the “natural consequences” of your behavior? If so, what did you learn from that experience that has helped you avoid further trouble?
  • If you’re going through a “wilderness” time in your life right now, have you seen evidence of God’s provision – even in unexpected ways?

Family Field Talk

  • Have you ever forgotten to take your homework to school? What happened? Did having that experience help you remember to take it later?

Prayer Guide
Heavenly Father, we thank You that You love us enough to discipline us. Help us trust You to provide for our needs and guide us to “a good land.” Amen.