Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it
Last week I blogged about God's justice. Tonight rereading Enos 1:1 I realized that in this verse Enos ascribes justice to his father Jacob because he had taught his son "in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Often we think of justice in relation to administering the law or to fairness. Jacob's teaching his son obviously has nothing to do with fairness or the law. So what are we to make of this verse?
Maybe though it's not saying that Jacob was just because he taught his son; perhaps Enos is saying that he knew his father was just because of his teachings. Does it matter?
If it is the first way (Jacob is just because of his teaching), that would imply that if I don't teach my children then I am not just. If we define justice in terms of doing what is morally right instead of how we administer the law, then I suppose this is an OK reading. It is after all morally right to teach our children in the ways of the Lord.
The second way of reading the verse though is interesting because it implies that teaching our children "in our language and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" allows our children to see us as just. My teenagers are highly attuned to any time I am not perfectly just. Rather than try to help them see the logic behind my attempts at acting justly, perhaps I should just redouble my efforts in teaching them "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord". (And correct their grammar more.)