Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Bless me, Father

Genesis 24 records one of several beautiful  love stories in the Bible, the story of the courtship and marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was the promised son of Abraham and Sarah; the son through whom the Abrahamic Covenant would continue; the lineage through whom one day the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, would come. Read in that chapter how Rebekah’s  hospitality to an elderly man would eventually lead her to her beloved husband, Isaac.  Genesis 24 concludes with their simple, but beautiful marriage. 

Genesis 25 records the birth of Isaac and Rebekah’s  twin sons, Esau and Jacob, in that order.  Their sad story of parental favoritism is told in Genesis 25-28 as a warning to all parents. Isaac favored Esau, while Rebekah favored Jacob.

But woven through their story which continues all the way through Genesis 33 is God’s story of His sovereignty in the lives of Esau and Jacob.   That’s the way it is in each of our personal stories. Psalm 139 presents the comforting  doctrine of God’s sovereignty and care in each of our lives. I encourage you to take time to read and meditate on that Psalm and trust Him for God’s good plan for your life.

In Genesis 25:21-34 we learn that the younger twin, Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel as he wrestled with a human manifestation of God. was the God-blessed son through whom the Abrahamic Covenant would pass; whereas Esau was rejected by God and he became the father of the Edomites, bitter enemies ofIsrael.

Actually, this rivalry of the twins had begun in Rebekah’s womb before they were born and God told Rebekah a secret which possibly she never shared with her husband.  In Genesis 25:22-23  the Lord told her that contrary to custom, the first born son, Esau,  would serve the second born son, Jacob.

In Genesis 27 we see Isaac, now an old man and losing his sight.  It’s time to pass on his blessing to his sons.  His concern is to pass on his major blessing to his oldest son, Esau, who is a hunter.  He asks Esau to find and kill a deer and make him his favorite venison stew. Afterwards he will bless him.

Rebekah overhears the conversation and she begins to scheme how she can make sure Jacob gets the blessing, rather than Esau. She remembers the message she had received from God years earlier while she was carrying the twins in her womb.  She knows it is God’s will that the younger son should receive the primary blessing. So with her scheming mind she plans how Jacob can inherit the blessing.  She instructs Jacob to kill a goat from their flock and bring it to her.  Rebekah prepares the goat to taste just like the venison stew Esau prepares and  Isaac enjoys so much.

Jacob is smooth skinned while Esau has a hairy body, including his neck and arms.  Knowing that Isaac will touch his son when he blessed him, Rebekah has a problem to solve. She solves that problem by fastening goat hair to Jacob’s arms and neck.  Then she instructs him to go in to his aged father and pretend he is Esau.  Read this account in Genesis 27 for all the interesting details.  

Though Isaac is confused by the sound of Jacob’s voice, he feels his hairy arms and neck and decides it must be Esau.   Then he pronounces Esau’s blessing on Jacob and eats the stew which Rebekah had prepared to taste just like Esau’s stew.  Basically he passed on the Abrahamic Covenant to Jacob instead of his elder twin brother, Esau.   Though it is trickery on the part of Jacob and his mother,  it is ultimately the sovereign will of God.

No sooner does he pronounce his blessing on Jacob and Jacob leaves the house, when Esau comes in from hunting with the venison stew he had made from the deer he killed. 

When he learns that his father has been tricked and Jacob has received the blessing reserved for him, Esau is furious with his brother. He  cries out in despair to his father to bless him also.  Isaac realizes the mistake he has made and is grief stricken.  Isaac in Genesis 27:39-40 gives Esau the best blessing he can, but the prominent blessing has already been given to Jacob and there is no way he can rescind that.  

As we conclude the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 27, we learn that Esau hates his brother and is determined to kill him.  Rebekah works quickly to warn Jacob of his angry brother and she sends Jacob off to her brother Laban inHaranuntil Esau’s anger subsides. The events that follow through the rest of Genesis are more exciting than any mystery novel, as God leads and teaches and protects Jacob and his twelve sons.

FATHER’S BLESS YOUR CHILDREN! 

 

Father’s,  I share this story with you on Father’s Day so that you can realize your responsibility and privilege of  blessing your children.

Children want more from their father’s than mere material things.  Too many fathers think that the most important thing they can do for their children is to devote their lives to making lots of money by working overtime so they can buy material things for their children.   But boys and girls want more from their fathers  than mere stuff. 

A father has the ability to bless or curse his children, Our children desire and deserve much more than mere material things.  They deserve and need the following.

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR TIME AND ATTENTION.

 

Our children want and deserve our time and personal attention.  They want to experience and be assured of their father’s LOVE which is always  spelled, TIME AND PERSONAL ATTENTION!

Read a story in I Kings 20:39-42 of a man who was given the responsibility by his king to guard a prisoner with his life.   The prisoner escaped.

Later, the man made the excuse to the king  that  “As thy servants was busy here and there, he was gone!”

That’s the way it is with us fathers.  We have our children at home for about 18 to 20 years, and then they leave home for college or for work and marriage and they are gone.   How sad that we did not take the time to play with and pray with and talk with our children and show them our love and teach them the truths of God’s Word and introduce them to Christ.

Spend as much time as possible with your children.  Start early from the time they are born.  Cuddle your infant son or daughter.  Enjoy every stage of growth.  Be as involved as you can in their lives.  If your work schedule allows it, be with your family for meals, some play time, bed time rituals,  including a time of sharing Bible stories and truths and praying with your family. As your work schedule permits, be involved in their education, sports, musical activities, church activities, and family vacations and on your days off from work.

If your wife is constantly at home with her children, as God meant her to be, she will be more involved in their lives than you can possibly be.  But if the two of you during your courtship days, discussed and agreed on your Biblical philosophy of parenting, there will be no contradiction or arguments of parenting. You will be in perfect harmony and your children will see that they cannot play one parent against another to get their own will. For much more on this subject, go to category, FAMILY, on this web site.

Whether you are a pastor, elder or deacon and are active in your church, you will understand that no church activity is more important than the spiritual welfare of your children.  You will see to it that you always make time for your children and you will include them in your schedule whenever possible.   

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR INSTRUCTION AND GUIDANCE.

 

You will realistically have your children for about 16 years.  After that, they will be busy with school activities, after school activities and part time jobs.  That leaves you with only 5,840 days to personally impact their lives and teach them the important lessons of life. 

Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9 to learn your parental responsibilities. This involves teaching them about life and its pitfalls and eternal values.  It involves teaching them God’s Word concerning our relationship with God and with others.

Teach them, primarily by modeling it in your own life, such lessons as  to keeping their word, inter-personal relationships, sex-education,  how to keep themselves and their room clean,  how to drive a car safely, the responsibilities of faithfulness at work, financial matters, a Biblical political philosophy,  music appreciation,  home repairs and upkeep and  some mechanical know-how, if you have learned it from your father.

Listen to Solomon as he  instructs his children on every subject under the sun.  Read and discuss the book of  Proverbs with your children.  By all means, introduce them to Jesus who came into this world to save us by dying and rising again  for our sins.

Live your life consistently as a Christian, so you may be able to say, “My son, my daughter, give me your heart and let your eyes observe how I live my life. Proverbs 23:26  We earn the trust and respect of our children to make such a request of them by building a relationship with them through those first sixteen years of their lives.   Don’t blow your opportunity!  Live a life of integrity- that is, practice what you preach.  Proverbs 20:7

Not only do we take the responsibility to instruct our children,  but we guard them from false instruction and from wrong influences that come from  wrong friends,  the wrong school and even the wrong church. See Proverbs 19:27.   That’s why we removed our children from public school when our oldest son was in fifth grade and from then on our children were in Christian schools and we also home schooled them. That was back in the early 70’s when others looked at us as if we were crazy.

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR APPROVAL AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

 

We fathers are quick to express our disapproval when our children do wrong- and we should.  However, we must also express our approval when our children do right; even when it’s not popular.  Express it.  Tell them.  They need to hear it from you.

But beware of showing favoritism, as Isaac and Rebekah did with their twin sons, Esau and Jacob.   This character flaw passed on from generation to generation.  Jacob also showed favoritism among his twelve sons, by choosing Joseph and Benjamin as his favorites.  Continue reading the rest of Genesis to learn what harm that caused.

If our children are discouraged and depressed and angry in their home situation, it’s your responsibility to solve the problem by considering your own example, fathers.  According to Colossians 3:21   and Ephesians 6:4, the buck stops with you, Dad!

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR LOVE.

 

That love is going to be restored one day, Malachi 4:5-6 prophesies. But this loving relationship between parents and children can be restored in your home now, if you’ll take the leadership and set the example, Dad!  Let your children observe and feel your unconditional love.  They may need to earn your trust, but they must never need to earn your love.  They must understand that your love is unconditional.

A child who does not experience his father’s unconditional love will have difficulty in ever believing John 3:16  He may also have trouble loving his or her spouse and children. 

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR UNDERSTANDING.

 

Nothing provokes our children to wrath as much as our lack of understanding them.  Ephesians 6:4.  That comes from not listening to them. Listen to them and converse with them while they are young and you will develop a life-long relationship with them of understanding. Start while they are young. If we listen to them and make an effort to understand them, they will be more prone to incline their hearts to understand and obey His Word and to listen to and obey our instruction.

Understanding comes with wisdom as we spend time in the Word of God. Read Proverbs 2:1-11 and 3:1-5.

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR DISCIPLINE.

 

Yes, our children want and cry for our discipline. It helps them understand we love them.  Nothing is more comforting to a child than a spanking he deserved.  Hebrews 12:6.   Children crave a firm, loving hand from their father. Proverbs 13:24. They crave your attention.

Punishment must be consistent and fair and given in love.

Nothing is so cruel to a child  as a father or mother who allows children total freedom  and who never reprimands or punishes wrong doing.  Such parents scream at their children in frustration or roar in anger all day.  That’s not discipline.  That’s ignorance and lack of discipline on our part.

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR EXAMPLE.

 

Every pastor and every father ought to be able to say with the Apostle Paul,  in I Corinthians 4:15-16 “For though ye have  ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.  Wherefore, I beseech you,  be ye followers of me.”  

Speaking of Abraham in Genesis 18:19  we learn that God could bless Abraham  “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.”

Paul in I Corinthians 11:1 pleaded with the church, “Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ.”

How hypocritical it is of us as fathers and pastors when we do not set the right example to our family or flock.

WE BLESS OUR CHILDREN BY HAVING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR MOTHER, OUR WIFE.

 

Children deserve and need to see their father love their mother.  A father can best love his children by loving their mother.   If that love is missing, the love you try to show your children will be empty and meaningless.  Your love for their mother gives them security and stability.   They can go to sleep at night knowing all is well with their home.  The word husband comes from two words,  House Band.  The husband is the one who holds the house, the home together.

WE BLESS THEM WITH OUR PRAYERS

 

We start praying for our children before they are born.   We pray; not simply public prayers, but we breathe prayers about everything in our lives without ceasing.  We pray about big and little problems. We pray with them, for their pet’s needs. For them as they study.  We pray with them for our testimonies as individuals and as a family.

Your children should be observing that prayer is a normal, consistent part of your life as eating and drinking and conversing with the family.

Long after they have grown up and left home, our prayers continue to follow them.

WE BLESS THEM WITH A FINANCIAL INHERITANCE

 

Of all the ways to bless our children, this is the least important, but it is important.

 

I Corinthians13:22 declares that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”  Although not all of us can leave a financial inheritance to our grand children,  all of us can leave a spiritual heritage to them if we are walking with the Lord.

If we miss leaving a spiritual inheritance,  the money we leave them will be squandered and wasted just like the Prodigal Son wasted his inheritance as in a few months he was living in a pig pen with the pigs, eating what they ate.

A CONCLUDING WARNING

 

Isaac blessed his twin sons the best he could after making the terrible mistake of  showing favoritism to one of the twins and showing rebellion to God  in this matter of God’s sovereignty.   Will you join me in asking wisdom and humility for the great responsibility of being a good father?

 

 

 

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June 17, 2011 - Posted by | Fathers

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