Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Are You God's Kind of Dad
Please read I Samuel 3:1-14. The public image of an American father is often a Dagwood bumstead or an Archie Bunker. An interesting note, Dagwood Bumstead is a fictional character in the comic strip Blondie, he was introduced prior to February 17, 1933. He came from a wealthy family who disowned him for marrying below his class. He is portrayed as a lazy ineffective husband, father and employee who works at J.C. Dithers & Company. A couple of centuries ago a Norwegian infidel willed his estate to the devil. His instructions were "Nothing what-so-ever was to be done to care for the property." Seventy five years later it was reported that there was no evidence that his estate ever existed. In the same way fathers can easily will their children to the devil by just leaving them alone, to go their own way, without training or discipline. In the above passage note the difference between Eli and Elkanah. First, Eli, a weak father. Eli was devoted to his temple service, but spent more time in training young candidates for the priesthood than he did in training his own sons for God. He knew that his sons were committing vile acts, but did not restrain them. He was strong in teaching the Law of God, but he was weak in enforcing it in his own household. He received the chastening of the Lord and tragedy in his family as a reminder that even those who perform religious service must understand the importance of home training. Grace does not run in the blood, it has to be displayed in behavior and obedience. Second, a godly father. Elkanah set an example of worship and service to God. He loved Hannah, his wife. It is though the love a husband has for his wife that the love for their children is revealed. He cooperated with Hannah in the rearing of their children. Hannah prayed for a son and promised his service to Jehovah. Elkanah said "Do what seems good, may the Lord establish His Word" (I Samuel 1:23). Elkanah means "God has possessed." Samuel means "Heard of God." There is a time, I know not when; A place, I know not where; Which marks the destiny of men; To heaven or despair. How long may men go in sin? How long will God forbear? Where does hope end, and where begins; The confines of despair? One answer from those skies is sent: You who from God depart, While it is call today, repent, And harden not your heart." Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.