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Today is Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Who's your father?

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God places significance, not only on fatherhood, but who our father is. One thousand twenty-two times (1022) the Bible refers to specific people as being 'the son of' and then names their father. As bad as we think sin is, it is only mentioned 388 times. Why does the Bible make such a dramatic point of naming the father when discussing a child? As we near Christmas day, I'm reminded that Christ was born of a Heavenly Father by an earthly father.

We all know, some biological fathers are not really fathers at all. We also know, some stepfathers, or even guardians, are closer to God's idea of a father and should be honored as such. Still, when God specifies 'the son of (so and so)' 1022 times, surely there is some insight to gain from this.

Some of you reading this may say, "I didn't have a dad growing up. Most of my life he either ignored me or didn't acknowledge my existence." For you, you must know God is the Ultimate Father. At the end of the day, He is the only real Father for any of us. You're not alone. He loves you. Psalms 68:5 clearly states God is a Father to the fatherless.

The Bible clearing shows Fatherhood is at the very heart of God's plan for humanity. I heard some preacher say, "The Bible begins with a wedding and ends with a wedding."

But why does God specify, Joshua, the son of Nun; Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest; and over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan; Caleb the son of Jephunne. God thought these fathers held enough significance to keep them in the annals of history for thousands and thousands of years. Was it a means of honoring the father and the heritage of the son?

Just think of this: Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. What does that tell us about Franklin? Quite a lot, actually, because you immediately get a picture of Franklin Graham from the mental picture you have of Billy Graham. That's the power of Fatherhood

The father's job is to lead his family; to preserve the family; to bless his family; and to be a godly example to the family which by natural progression, passes on the knowledge of God from generation to generation. He is the shepherd of the family, the one who guards his wife and children from as much pain as possible. He passes on a godly heritage to his children which perpetuates knowledge of God to a thousand generations and beyond. It is only when a father chooses to stop passing on the knowledge of God that it can be stopped. Even then, according to scripture, some sons go back in history and learning of the godliness of a great-great grandparent they relight the torch to bring blessing back to the family.

Maybe God identified a person as 'the son of (....)" to explain what the character of the child would be like. It is true, in most cases, our children are very much as we are.

Kids want validation and validation comes mostly from the fathers. This is not to avoid praising single moms who are wonderful role models, great providers and who are always loving and supportive of their sons and daughters. Many, many times the Bible specifies different leaders as the son of - and it names the mother and not the father. In all cases, God seems to be saying family is important.

Two statements in scripture stand out, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). Wow! Another is, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14). Imagine you're in a line up at the gates of heaven and over a loud speaker, echoing through the universe, you hear your name spoken out loud "Caleb, the son of God". What an honor to be called the son of God! When all is said and done, the heritage that matter most is that we are called the sons of God.

The Bible says we are heirs together with Christ. Children of God. Being identified with our Heavenly Father should give us complete confidence. It is not WHO we are, but WHO's we are. Maybe that is why most of the time God identified a man by who his father was. How blessed we are to be identified by being called the son (or daughter) of God, Creator of heaven and earth.

If God is not your Father, reconnect the family line. Is there any identity better than being called the son of God? If you've not had a good father in this world, don't let it worry or upset you. God is a Father you can lean on for identity and security.

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