To obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
December 09, 2019 – Monday
Titus 1:5-6 NIV
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and ordain elders in every town, as I directed you.
6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children are trustworthy and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
It is interesting to look at all the different versions of verse six provided at BibleGateway.com to see what they say about the children of a man who might be considered to be appointed or ordained as an elder in a church. The second version above says the children are to be trustworthy, but that was only in a note to the verse in the NIV and is not found in any version at the link provided.
Instead we find believing children or children who believe as the most common. Also common was a requirement to have faithful children or children who are faithful. Then there was the CEV which said they must be followers of the Lord; PHILLIPS which said children brought up as Christians; the TLB which said children must love the Lord; and the NLV which said children must be Christians.
With all of that being said about the children of a man who is being considered for the position of an elder one wonders (or at least I did) why the need to add the children are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. After all the are believing or faithful children brought up as Christians and they must love the Lord so why the concern about them being wild and disobedient?
Perhaps it was because the people of Crete were infamous for their sin which Paul knew had invaded the house churches on Crete and everything had to be checked and double checked. Thus Titus was to ensure the children, even if he was told they were believers and faithful to the gospel, were not wild and disobedient. This is how he would replace the dishonest fraudulent teachers and leaders in the churches with godly men. Quite an onerous task.
Another aspect of this is how the behavior of one’s children might affect a person’s ability to serve as a deacon or elder. There seem to be an underlying message here on the need to pay greater attention to how one raises one’s children as noted in Ephesians six 4 Fathers/Parents, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
On interesting side note, when looking at all the different versions of verse six, one of them stood out – the VOICE which pointed to the father (!) and not the children when it said 6 Here’s what you should look for in an elder: he should be above suspicion; if he is married, he should be the husband of one wife, raise children who believe, and be a person who can’t be accused of rough and raucous living. They conceivably chose this translation because so much sin had entered the leadership of the various house churches.
Nonetheless, Titus had his work cut out for him and I want to once again recommend this video on the book of Titus which is a great summary of the entire book. Watch, enjoy, and be encouraged to read the entire (short) book for yourself.
(to obey is better than sacrifice /obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)