Merrymaking with meaning
His sons used to take turns hosting parties in their homes, always inviting their three sisters to join them in their merrymaking. When the parties were over, Job would get up early in the morning and sacrifice a burnt offering for each of his children, thinking, “Maybe one of them sinned by defying God inwardly.” — Job 1:4-5, The Message (MSG)
“It’s not that they party,” Job likely thought after each celebration ended. Instead, it’s this heart-panging question: “Did they party too much?”
It’s important to note Job is not against the parties. He isn’t dishing the hoopla. Instead, he’s seeing through the likely debauchery of ‘one too many’ and wants to make sure no matter what those grown kids of his said or did that they are on the up and up in their relationship with their Creator, his God, the very One he cried tears of joy to when, for the very first time, he held each one in his arms.
Backing up, here’s another word on the parties. Job probably taught his kids to fist bump (Whaaaaaat? We thought this was new?), light a candle, sing a song, joke, laugh, raise a cup of whatever was appropriate and do the all-important mission to make merry. Within his family, and this may well have been passed along generationally, celebrations are good. Perhaps they are even revered.
Hand a seventeen-year-old car keys and you get this text. “Explore and experience the world” is the mantra, just don’t injure or kill yourself or anyone else—ever—in the process.
Anything a parent can do to keep their children at any age safe is at the top of the list. For Job, it was a burnt offering. For parents during and beyond this story, what has occurred at some point is a down on the knees, white-knuckled prayer. “Lord, keep my baby safe.”
A take-home from this is clear. We all defile God inwardly and parents want what Job wanted, which is to know that the relationship between God and their kids is solid and secure.
Let Job inspire you. He taught his children how to party. More so, he taught by example and action what they need to do, and that is get close (or stay close) to God.
PRAYER: Help us love our children so much that they see how much we love You. Amen.