I was appalled but not silent. In my dream, I was outraged. I marched up to this man and gave him a verbal rebuke, loudly declaring that he was not only putting these young people at risk, but risking a lawsuit when the first one hit his head on a rock or was damaged in any way. I forbid him to carry on like this and ordered the children to go home with their parents. My tirade worked and the foolishness stopped.
When I work up, the dream remained vivid, but seemed to me an allegory about the forces of evil that threaten our children. To them, some it might seem like fun, but they are actually in grave danger. On top of that, parents are devastated but feel helpless to do anything about it. I know this. I’ve been there.
Today’s Scripture is still the one from Nehemiah, and it offers preventive measures that will help families combat whatever tries to lure their children into danger.
And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them. (Nehemiah 8:12)In those days, the people of God didn’t have the complete Bible as we do, but when they heard a message and understood it, it was cause for celebration. They went home and had a feast, rejoicing because they understood the will of God. I can picture how this would affect their children. Unfortunately, I can also picture the effect on young people when their parents use Sunday mealtime to criticize the pastor’s sermon.
The other thought that came to me relates to what happened in the dream when the enemy was confronted. This is like prayer, yet speaking out is not to persuade God. He wants our families to be safe from spiritual harm. Instead, prayer is to confront and battle the enemy. It is spiritual warfare and requires spiritual armor. Ephesians six describes it. A good soldier is girded for action, wears a helmet, breastplate, good shoes, and carries a shield and a sword. It is not passive hand-wringing or silence.
I’m not a hero. I’ve also wrung my hands and watched in horror. However, Jesus does not do that. He teaches me that when I see people in danger, I need to take action — often on my knees and sometimes with boldness.
He is also teaching me the best way to follow up after hearing and understanding God’s Word. I need to feast on it and rejoice, then share portions with others so they also know the wonder of God’s care and have a deepening desire to stay close to His table.