I wrote this a few years ago for a Father’s Day sermon I preached. Since Father’s Day was just a few weeks ago, I thought I would share this now. Whether you’re a father, a grandfather, an uncle, a man who mentors younger men, etc., I hope this week’s devotion (and the two that follow) will bless you.
Genesis 18:19 - For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
Well, today is Father’s Day. Pat Morley has an interesting definition of Father’s Day. First he says that the definition of Mother’s Day is: “A day devoted to honoring mothers.” He then says that the definition of Father’s Day is: “A day to beat up men for not doing a better job!” That’s pretty accurate. You should read some of the articles that I’ve come across over the last couple of weeks about dads. It’s not pretty. Well not today! Today we’re going to look at a very famous father in the Bible and see what we all can learn from him.
The father I’m talking about is Abraham. God called Abraham when he was about 75 years old. God told him to leave his home, his comfort zone, and all that he knew. And Abraham obeyed God. A few years later (about 24 to be exact), God told Abraham that he would have a son (at 99 years of age!)
You see, God made a covenant with Abraham. He told Abraham that he would become a great nation. And God brought it to pass. It happened just as God promised it would. Just listen to these verses…
Genesis 17:5 – No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
Romans 4:16 – Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring–not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
Galatians 3:29 – If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
It’s because of verses like these that we’re able to sing “Father Abraham.” He is indeed the father of many sons – and daughters. He’s the father to all who have faith like him. In fact, Abraham’s name means, “father to many.”
So that brings up a question in my mind: Why did God make this promise to Abraham… of all people? Why did God promise that Abraham would be a father to many nations? Well, our verse tells us that it’s because God knew him – not just knew about him, but knew him… intimately. Scripture teaches us that Abraham held a special place in God’s heart, and yet Scripture is just as clear that there wasn’t anything particularly special about Abraham.
In other words, Abraham didn’t earn God’s favor. It wasn’t because he was stronger, or more righteous, or smarter than other people. It was simply out of grace that God sought a relationship with Abraham. And the kind of relationship that God entered into with Abraham was covenantal.
We’ll take a look at what that means next time.
Grace and Truth,