This past Sunday we discussed in the worship service the theme of Fatherhood. As I said Sunday, there is arguably no better place in Scripture to consider this subject than the passage we find in Genesis 22:1-18. There are three characteristics we pointed out from this passage concerning Abraham and they are significant qualities that should be a part of fathers today.
The first quality we see is Consistent Obedience. In verse 3 of the text we notice Abraham rose up early, he set out on the journey, he traveled for three days, and then he climbed a mountain. Ge 22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Abraham had a solid three days to back out of this task, to come up with some other plan, or to simply defy God, but he did not. Abraham chose to be obedient! Consistent obedience does not mean that Abraham was a perfect individual, but it does indicate that he whole heartedly went about his work to please God and serve him to the best of his ability.
The second quality is Fervent Conviction. In verse 8 we find the timeless truth that God will provide. Ge 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. Even as he climbed that mountain Abraham expresses a fervent conviction that God will be faithful to provide them with the needed sacrifice.
The need is ever before us, for fathers to live a life of fervent conviction. There are many things that we tend to have a conviction about, but how many of those things are the same things that God has a conviction about. What is needed in fatherhood, is men who will stand up with real, spiritual convictions and not be ashamed of them. Spiritual convictions about God, about his church, and about the mission he has given us in this world.
The third quality is Passionate Commitment. Ge 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. The concept of verse 12 is very simple – God gets all of your life! Abraham held back nothing from his God, not even is one promised son. Can the same be said about you? Is there something that you put in a box and never let go of, not even to surrender it to God? Abraham was a wealthy man, but money was not what he held back. God wanted see in Abraham’s actions as a father that everything, even his child was surrendered to Him.
There is no greater challenge before us as fathers, we must make sure that God is first in our hearts and lives, because then and only then can we live the way God desires for us to live as parents. Consistent obedience, fervent conviction, and passionate commitment those are the characteristics that we see from the life of Abraham. May we live out those same qualities!