Hello and welcome to episode 77 of The Berean Manifesto brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we're going to take our second look this year at parenting, or more specifically this time being a dad.
The last time we talked about parenting in episode 72 we focused on waiting on God's timetable while raising children who become adults that are dangerously on fire for the Lord. While waiting on the Lord is an internal thing, more for your peace of mind while raising your children, in this episode, we're going to focus on the two most important external aspects of raising children who become adults that are dangerously on fire for the Lord. If you're taking notes whether on paper or mental then jot this down and star it, circle it, make it bold; Raising children who become adults that are dangerously on fire for the Lord requires parenting that lives real trust and transfers real hope. Live real trust, transfer real hope.
Hebrews 11:12 says, "From one man -- in fact, from one as good as dead -- came offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and as innumerable as the grains of sand along the seashore."
Abram wanted to be a father, and for the first 75 years of his life, it was a no go. That's when the Lord came to Abram, gave him his new name, and promised him a son that he would use to raise up a great nation. This is every father's dream, right? That your child would be a mighty leader who would take the world by storm and leave a legacy that would be immortalized in the history books. You want children who turn out to be a Joan of Ark, a Charlemagne, an Oprah, a Gandhi, an Esther, a George Washington, a Rosa Parks, or a Martin Luther King Junior. But for Abraham, it would be another 25 years before he could even start that journey to find out who he child could be, 25 years before he would see the fulfillment of that word from the Lord.
It wasn't that Abraham wasn't used to trusting God at this point, in Genesis 12 God tells him to move to a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He packed up and moved even though he didn't know where he was going. By faith, he stayed there as a foreigner in that land living in tents trusting that God was going to give him the land that others were already occupying.
After a slip up of non-trust with Hagar, leading to the birth of Ishmael, Abraham and Sarah have Isaac. 25 years later in Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love," and offer him as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah. The bible doesn't actually tell us that Isaac is 25 when this event happens and lots of theologians have tried to surmise Isaacs age at this event. The historian Titus Flavius Josephus who wrote the definitive work on the history of Jewish Antiquities places the age at 25, so I'm inclined to favor that number. Verse 3, the very next verse after God tells him to go sacrifice his son says that "Abraham got up early in the morning," he didn't wait a day or two, he didn't wait a week or two. He didn’t try to reason out, maybe that was just me, maybe I misheard God, maybe I should just let this sit on the burner for a little while. No, God tells him to sacrifice his own son and the very next day he saddles up the donkey, gathers the wood, and heads out with his son and two servants toward Moriah.
When God told Abraham to move to a foreign land and live amongst strangers, he didn't know how things were going to turn out, he couldn't see what God was going to do. When God promised Abraham a son when he was 75 he didn't know how things were going to turn out, he couldn't see what God was going to do. 50 years later when God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son he didn't know how things were going to turn out, he couldn't see what God was going to do. He trusted God, packed up his stuff and moved, he trusted God and lived with the expectation of his promised son, He trusted God and headed up to Moriah with his only son in tow. Are you trusting God with real trust, even though you don't know how things are going to turn out? Even though you can't see what God is going to do? Are you trusting Him; in your career, in your relationships, in your family, in your finances?
On the way up to Moriah Isaac asks Abraham where the sacrifice is. "Ummm... Dad, we brought some fire, some wood, and a knife with us, but uhhh... where's the sacrifice?" Abraham looks into his son's eyes and tells him that God will provide the lamb for the sacrifice, not that God has already provided. Hebrews 11:17-19 says, "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and yet he was offering his one and only son, the one to whom it had been said, "Your offspring will be called through Isaac." He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead; therefore he received him back." Abraham's trust in God to be the God that redeems the dead is unwavering. He knows that God raises dead things to life, takes dead dreams and revives them, fixes things that don't work and are broken. That’s what God does. Abraham and Sarah were old when Isaac was born, their ability to have children had long since died. Isaac himself was the living reality that God takes dead things and raises them to life. It's out of that trust that Abraham transfers hope to Isaac.
You don't know on the way up Mount Moriah how things are going to turn out. You don't know that God is going to provide a ram for the sacrifice, but whether God is going to provide a ram or a resurrection you trust God every step of the way and the eyes of your children are on you all the way up. And while you surely aren't headed up the mountain to sacrifice your children, you are headed up mountains every day. Mountains in your career, mountains in your relationships, mountains in your family, mountains in your finances, mountains on your right hand, and mountains on your left, and the eyes of your children are on you all the way up.
Your trust that God can see further down the road than you can, transfers hope to your children. Abraham had no idea that God was going to provide a sacrifice other than Isaac, but he trusted God to be God regardless of the evidence. Abraham had no idea that the spot he was told to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah would be the spot where the Temple of Soloman would be built, he had no idea that sacrifices would be offered there for hundreds of years for the sins of the people and that God would send His own son to be sacrificed once for all to fulfill that promise of offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and as innumerable as the grains of sand along the seashore.
You have to see bigger to be a part of the bigger thing that God is doing. You have to live real trust, and then live real trust, and then live real trust, and then live real trust to be able to transfer real hope to your children.
This is Pastor Bill saying, "Until next time..."