Responsibility

From a Sermon By Frank Brown

I

n this present evil world, it seems that nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions. It's always someone else's fault.

Flip Wilson used to say "the devil made me do it." That was a bad joke. The devil does not make anyone do anything. He can, and does, entice us to do evil, but what we do or think is totally our own responsibility.

I want to talk about responsibility today, from BOTTOM to TOP.

The family unit is the basis of society - normally consisting of a husband-father, wife-mother, and male and female children. Often also there USED to be elderly parents that would live with a son or daughter when they got too infirm to live alone. This was natural and expected. No one complained about it. Now they are stuck in nursing homes. The government has usurped this responsibility from children.

A home is started when a man and a woman make promises to be faithful to each other, to be supportive, to perform their duties within the family. Today, it seems very few take vows or promises seriously. But Yahweh does. See Numbers 30.

Couples marry today, vowing to love, honor and either provide for or obey, and to live together "till death do us part, for better or for worse." But soon things go wrong. And so they get a divorce. Maybe one or both are at fault. Maybe in some cases neither is at fault. 

In looking at family responsibility, let's start with those on the bottom of the heap, so to speak: Children. A child has responsibility to obey his or her parents and help with work around the place as much as possible.

(Eph 6:1-2 KJV)  "Children, obey your parents in Yahweh: for this is right. {2} Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;"

(Col 3:20 KJV)  "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto Yahweh."

Wives-Mothers are a very  important element in a family, often called the "Glue" that holds a family together. Notice in Strong's  what the Hebrew word "mother" denotes:

517. 'em, ame; a prim. word; a mother (as the bond of the family); in a wide sense (both lit. and fig.) [like H1]:--dam, mother, X parting.

Mothers are instructed to teach their children and care for the home.

(Prov 31:1-3 NRSV)  "The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: {2} No, my son! No, son of my womb! No, son of my vows! {3} Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings."

 (Prov 31:26-28 KJV)  "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. {27} She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. {28} Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her."

Another area for women to teach:

(Titus 2:3-5 KJV)  "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; {4} That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, {5} To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of Elohim be not blasphemed."

Husbands-Fathers are commanded to love their wives, instruct their children, provide leadership for the family in both a spiritual and physical way. He is the Family leader - the Priest. He is the Breadwinner. He takes the stress of going out into the world to make a living. If they are blessed to have a farm or business where they can work together, the wife is to be his willing helper. She is an assistant, not a doormat.

They are not to anger or provoke their children:

(Eph 6:4 KJV)  "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of Yahweh."

(Col 3:21 KJV)  "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."

We all have a responsibility to the world around us, as well as to our families, to be good examples. (John 13:15 KJV)  "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."

(1 Tim 4:12-16 KJV)  "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. {13} Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. {14} Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. {15} Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. {16} Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."

(James 5:10-11 NRSV)  "As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of Yahweh. {11} Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of Yahweh, how Yahweh is compassionate and merciful."

(1 Pet 2:21 NRSV)  "For to this you have been called, because The Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps."

And to have a ready answer: (1 Pet 3:15 KJV)  "But sanctify Yahweh Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

(Col 4:6 KJV)  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

(Prov 15:2 NRSV)  "The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly."

(Prov 15:20-24 NRSV)  "A wise child makes a glad father, but the foolish despise their mothers. {21} Folly is a joy to one who has no sense, but a person of understanding walks straight ahead. {22} Without counsel, plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed. {23} To make an apt answer is a joy to anyone, and a word in season, how good it is! {24} For the wise the path of life leads upward, in order to avoid Sheol below."

(Prov 15:28 NRSV)  "The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil."

(Prov 16:1-4 NRSV)  "The plans of the mind belong to mortals, but the answer of the tongue is from Yahweh. {2} All one's ways may be pure in one's own eyes, but Yahweh weighs the spirit. {3} Commit your work to Yahweh, and your plans will be established. {4} Yahweh has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble."

Visit and help the poor, the sick and the prisoners: (Mat 25:35-36 KJV)  "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: {36} Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

(Mat 25:40)  "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

We are to live the Fruits of the Spirit (exhibit them to the world): (Gal 5:19-21 NRSV)  "Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, {20} idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, {21} envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of YHWH."

(Gal 5:22-26 NRSV)  "By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. {24} And those who belong to The Messiah Yahshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. {25} If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. {26} Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another."

Here is another area where we all fall short: (Gal 6:1-10 NRSV)  "My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. {2} Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of The Messiah. {3} For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. {4} All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor's work, will become a cause for pride. {5} For all must carry their own loads. {6} Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher. {7} Do not be deceived; Elohim is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. {8} If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. {9} So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. {10} So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith."

So here we have the family hierarchy - children, mother, father. But does responsibility stop there?

No, as the Father is the Spiritual leader or Priest of the family, and is responsible BEFORE YAHWEH for his family, to lead properly, to teach right precepts, to set the example, HE is also under authority to Yahshua the Messiah. Notice:

(1 Cor 11:3 NRSV)  "But I want you to understand that the Messiah is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and YHWH is the head of the Messiah."

The man is subject to the Messiah. He is responsible to Him, and the Messiah Himself is subject to Yahweh. Notice:

(John 7:16 KJV)  "Yahshua answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me."

(John 12:49-50 KJV)  "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. {50} And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak."

So we see that children are subject to the parents; the wife is subject to the husband; the husband is responsible to Yahshua, and Yahshua is responsible to Yahweh.

But what of YHWH Himself? Has He any responsibility? As Paul would say, "Much in every way!"

He is responsible for creating and sustaining the Universe, (Heb 11:3 NRSV)  "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of Elohim, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible."

He made us, and is responsible for our salvation: (Psa 18:2 KJV)  "Yahweh is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my Elohim, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."

(Psa 37:39 NRSV)  "The salvation of the righteous is from Yahweh; he is their refuge in the time of trouble."

(Psa 62:2 NRSV)  "He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken."

He sent His own Son to save us: (Zec 9:9 KJV)  "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

(Acts 4:12 KJV)  "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

(Acts 13:47-48 NRSV)  "For so Yahweh has commanded us, saying, 'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" {48} When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of Yahweh; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers."

There is much more, but you get the point. Everyone, from the lowliest child to Yahweh Himself has responsibility.

But none of this will benefit us unless we accept that great responsibility that Paul summed up as follows: Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. We must accept Yahshua, and obey Yahweh. There is no other way. See Acts 5:32, Heb. 5:9, along with Rev. 12:17 and 14:12

Time is getting shorter every day. Don't delay. HalleluYAH!