Exodus 10:11, “Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.”
In 2 Timothy 3:16 we learn that all scripture is given to us by God, and since it is given by God it is always profitable. When I have a question about doctrine, reproof, correction or instruction in righteousness I need not to look any further than the Holy Word of God.
Recently I was asked a question concerning congregational worship. The person was concerned about the Primitive Baptist position of not having separation of the family in worship. Since I, the writer, have not always been a Primitive Baptist (happy to be one now), I have experienced Sunday schools, bible schools and classes designed for specific groups. Most of the people who know me now wonder how I could take a completely different position than I used to (when I was a Missionary Baptist) in believing the family should be together and that there shouldn’t be any service designed for just one portion of the family.
When searching scripture, we find that God commanded His people to Worship together, not in divided classes. In Matthew 18:2 we read of a time that Jesus was teaching His disciples. In this verse we learn that Jesus did not have to send and gather a child from a distance but just called one to Him. The child, without any doubt, was right there with the older disciples of Christ.
In Matthew chapter 14, Mark chapter 6, Luke chapter 9 and John chapter 6 we read about our precious Lord feeding the 5,000. Notice Matthew 14:21; you will find that Jesus fed the 5,000 besides the women and children. There may have been 10,000 to 15,000 people there that day, but it was not difficult for the Lord to fill each one and have 12 baskets full left over. After reading Matthew 14:21 it is easy for any student of the Bible to see that the men, women and children were right there together.
In 1 Corinthians 14:34 we read where the Apostle Paul exhorted the women of the Church at Corinth to keep silent during the worship service. The Church at Corinth had lost order in the services and the Apostle had to exhort the men and women to “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). By verse 34 of this chapter alone we understand that the men and women were all meeting in the same place.
In Colossians 3:17-20 the Apostle instructs men, women and children concerning their role as a disciple of Jesus. Please notice that the Apostle had written just one letter by the inspiration of God to exhort all three groups. If these three groups were separated it would make more sense for the Apostle to write an individual letter to each group. He didn’t have to write three letters because one letter was enough for a group that was made up of men, women and children that met together.
In Exodus 10:11 the Pharaoh of Egypt proposes something totally different. He proposes that the men only would be let go and even suggests that this is what they had desired. In Exodus 5:1 we learn that this was not what Moses and Aaron requested at all. They asked for the entire congregation of people to be let go. Pharaoh’s proposal is suggesting a separation of the men, women and children. When we consider a worship service that divides the people, we are actually listening to Pharaoh and going down to Egypt for help. The prophet Isaiah says “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help”, (Isaiah 31:1). Pharaoh knew if he could divide the family, he could conquer the people. Pharaoh’s effort reminds me of a wolf who labors to divide a flock that he may pick off the young and weak.
If I may, I would like to tell the reader about a young sister that I was blessed to pastor. One day she and her mother were in conversation with another young lady and mother. The subject arose about what they had learned at church the previous Sunday. The other mother had to ask her daughter what she learned in church because they had not worshipped together. But the sister that was a member of the church I served said, “My mother never asks me what I heard at church on Sunday, because she sits beside me during the entire worship service.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, with all the divisions in the family caused by work, school, and the activities of this world, we should never desire more divisions, especially in the house of God. A look into the religious history of our nation proves that the systems of Sunday Schools, Bible Schools, etc. for children at Church does not perform as advertised. In the year 2019, we live in the most Biblically illiterate times on record. The people of our nation are struggling (to say the least) to grasp the knowledge of what Jesus accomplished on the Cross (Jesus did not make salvation available, but accomplished redemption for His people); life beginning at conception (abortion is sin); and what Biblical marriage is (man and woman). At this point, you would think that people would cease to look to Egypt (this world) for help and would fight against conforming to this modern environment we live in (Romans 12:2). In 1 Corinthians 10:5-11, the Apostle Paul reminds the Church at Corinth (as well as us) of the severe consequences of lusting (longing for something you do not have) and murmuring (complaining about what you do have). After reading these verses in God’s Holy Word, I always gain a stronger desire to do as God says. For if we do not have a “Thus saith the Lord”, every one of us should labor with diligence to separate ourselves from it, and work to adhere our efforts to serve God in His House the way He said to do it.