What do foolish, zombie children eat? Why do they eat it? Today AMBrewster uses God’s word to discuss the three main courses of a fool’s diet and helps Christian parents interpret their children’s behavior in light of the Bible.
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Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the changing leaves, I love the sweater weather. I love the excuse to drink more hot chocolate.
October is my dad’s birth month, it’s my daughter’s birth month, and it’s also the month we hit over 50 reviews and an overall 5-Star rating on iTunes!
In fact, our newest 5-Star review comes from Taylorreta. And here’s what it said: “I heard about TLP through a woman at my church who teaches various parenting/discipline courses. She highly recommended ii, and so I checked it out. TLP in and of itself is great, but what has radically shifted my parenting are the deep topics coupled with the clear and weighty focus this podcast puts on Scripture. I feel like after listening to an episode while doing the dishes or driving in the car that I need to go back and get out my Bible to catch it all! There is an abundance of feel-good content out there (blog, podcast, or otherwise), but what I love here is that its focus is on me as a parent first. It has been tough to swallow and my flesh wants something more topical that “practically” meets all my parenting woes. But God’s Word is relevant and perfect for every situation all the time, and I love that this is the focus with TLP. I also love that the episodes are short and succinct. 5 stars all the way.”
You guys are awesome. Your reviews are so incredibly generous and kind. I praise God for such an awesome group of intentional, premeditated, parents with whom to spend my time.
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Okay, let’s dive into today’s topic. Of course, if you haven’t heard parts one and two of this series, please stop this show and check out the episodes 200 and 201.
But, if you’re returning, let’s do a quick review.
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, and we’re using the imagery of a zombie because it helps us to appreciate the destructive and disgusting nature of foolishness.
Last time we saw that your child’s zombie behavior is a result of them lacking their minds.
Yes, they have a brain, but they enjoy the sin that will destroy them, they don’t understand that which is truly valuable, they hate what’s good for them, and they’re incapable of glorifying God while doing the most benign things.
We also saw that they lack the appropriate knowledge, but even if they had the knowledge, the zombie-fool hates understanding, hates wisdom, hates the things of God, but they love doing stupid or wicked things, and they have messed up communication.
And perhaps you’ve noticed those behaviors in your children. And — for those of you with kindergarten and elementary-aged children — this is super hard to accept, but your kids — especially if they’re unsaved — are fools.
So, we’ve seen the root issues. To put a fine point on it, let’s consider Psalm 14:1 and 53:1. Both of these verses read: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.”
Now, some of you are going to say, “But my child does have zombie behavior, but they believe in God.”
Here’s the thing, like we discussed in the Merest Christianity series that started in episode 95 — your children do what they do because they believe what they believe. If they truly believe that God’s commands are best, they will obey them.
Every Christian on the planet denies God’s commands from time to time, and in those moments we have to be honest enough to admit that we’re living like atheists. Practical atheism is living like God doesn’t exist.
It may not be all the time, but when we act in a corrupt or abominable way, when we don’t do good, we’re living as if “there is no God.”
And the rest of the verses in these Psalms explain the problem in more detail. And both of these passages are so similar that I can combine them with very few changes. Here is the ABSV, the Aaron Brewster Synchronized Version, of Psalm 14 & 53.
When you check out the Transcript on our blog, Taking Back the Family, you’ll see that the green words are shared by both passages, the blue words are found in Psalm 14, and the purple words are found in Psalm 53.
Psalm 14/53, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds of iniquity, there is none who does good. The Lord God looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away and turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”
Zombie behavior lacks understanding, they lack a godward focus in their lives. They’ve fallen away from Truth and embraced a lie.
Continuing on . . .
“Have those who work evil no knowledge,”
This should sound familiar. Zombies have no knowledge.
“All the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord God?”
See! I told you the similarities between zombies and fools are uncanny! “They eat up my people as they eat bread.” Now, I don’t think that God is necessarily talking about actual cannibalism, but the imagery is stunning.
And then the rest of the passage talks about the eventual destruction of the fool and the potential salvation they could have. I’ll read this now, but well talk about the destruction and salvation of the fool in a few episodes.
“There they are in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; for God is with the generation of the righteous. You put them to shame, for God has rejected them. You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.”
I think the verse about the fool eating God’s people is a great transition point into the diet of the fool. And for that we’re going to focus on some equally picturesque passages.
1. The Zombie feeds on Folly.
Proverbs 15:14, “The mouths of fools feed on folly.” Of course, they not only eat it, they enjoy it. Last time we read, Proverbs 15:21: “Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense.”
Don’t forget that folly is a lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight, it also includes criminally or tragically foolish actions or conduct. It describes evil, wickedness, especially lewd behavior. It’s a foolish act or idea. It also describes an excessively costly or unprofitable undertaking.
This is what the zombie eats because this is what the zombie loves.
This type of diet can exhibit itself in a life-dominating bent toward destructive behavior, but it also shows itself when our kids joy in foolish, empty, repetitive joking. It shows itself when our kids consistently don’t plan ahead. And it creeps out when our children devise foolish plans.
Now, some of this may make you say, “Yeah, but, Aaron, they’re just kids. You’re describing childishness.”
I know. Zombie behavior is bound up in the heart of a child. The zombie lives as if there is no God to whom he’s responsible.
Childishness and immaturity are synonyms for foolishness.
But not only does the fool feed on folly.
2. The Zombie feeds on His Own Flesh.’\
Ecclesiastes 4:5 reads, “The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.”
Isaiah 9:20 says, "They slice meat on the right, but are still hungry, and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied; each devours the flesh of his own arm.”
Again, I’m not saying that your children are actually eating the meat off their bodies, but — once again — I think it’s startling that God uses zombie-like cannibalism to illustrate how the fool lives.
But what is God illustrating for us?
The fool is so mindless that he doesn’t realize that by avoiding wise living, he’s actually consuming his own health, enjoyment, vitality, and satisfaction.
The phrase “folds his hands” — which we heard in Ecclesiastes 4:5 — is used two others times in Proverbs and refers to laziness (Proverbs 6:10 and Proverbs 24:33).
Basically, by foolishly delighting in that which God hates and hating that in which God delights, the fool is destroying herself as if she were eating herself alive.
This point toward the future destruction of the fool that we’ll look at in a couple episodes.
And lastly 3. The Zombie Feeds on God’s People
Psalm 14/53: “All the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord God.”
Consider Micah 3:1-4, “And I said: Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice?— you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people and their flesh from off their bones, who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces and chop them up like meat in a pot, like flesh in a cauldron.”
Why does God compare them to zombies” Because they hate the good and love the evil, their actions are akin to cannibalism.
The behavior described here is exactly what Jesus was illustrating when — in Matthew 7:6 — He said, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
Fools and scoffers will not value the nuggets of Truth you’re laying at their feet. They’ll simply crush them on their way to attacking you.
This is one reason the two greatest commandments are to Love God first and foremost and then to love others. When we love what is right we cherish people, not consume them.
Now, again, this imagery may make it hard to see this behavior in our kids. None of our children are eating themselves or others.
But, there are two things we must do.
1. We must first understand why God uses this imagery.
Selfish godlessness is wicked. God hates it. It’s as disgusting to Him as zombies are to us.
Our kids won’t accidentally glorify God. And when they live in their own power for their own pleasure to their own glory it’s like they’re consuming themselves and those around them.
That’s why . . .
2. We must see how our kids’ behavior fits into these illustrations.
Foolish, zombie behavior enjoys folly. It enjoys that which ends in personal destruction, and it enjoys that which destroys other people.
This includes cutting speech. How many of your kids just can’t seem to speak kindly to each other? That’s zombie behavior.
This includes the foolish thinking that causes our children to believe that they will do fine on the test without studying.
This includes the destructive habits our children have developed. Yes, it includes drugs and pornography, but it also includes a dislike for healthy food and an obsessions with junk food. It also includes the habit of being attracted to worldly people. It includes the habit of laziness that results in our kids not doing their chores, school work, or job responsibilities.
Because they lack sense, our kids are drawn to destructive words, actions, and feelings. They do what they do because they want what they want. And they want what they wants because they believe that they don’t need to live for God right now.
That’s how rasping, staggering, decomposing zombies live.
That’s how a fool lives.
As always, I’ll include the passages at which we looked in our free episodes notes.
Lord willing, next time we’ll look at how the zombie’s relationships affect and are affected by them.
After that we’ll be warned of the eventual destruction that accompanies foolish living, and then spend an entire, wonderful episode discussion God’s cure for zombies.
I hope to see you then.
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