The Omega Letter Intelligence Digest
Vol: 141 Issue: 15 - Saturday, June 15, 2013
Happy Father’s Day
Today is the day set aside to honor fathers. Scripture says, “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.” (Ephesians 6:2)
The ‘promise’ is that ‘thy days may be prolonged’ (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16).
Remember the rule; when God REALLY wants to make a point, He makes it several times.
Father’s Day was first observed in the United States on June 19, 1910. It was the brainchild of a Mrs. John B Dodd, who wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. Smart was a Civil War veteran who raised six children alone on a rural farm in Washington State.
Although President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national “Father’s Day”, it wasn’t until Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation in 1966 designating the 3rd Sunday in June as “Father’s Day.”
Each of you, if you still have your Dad, imagine what it would be like if you didn’t. Keep that in mind today when you honor yours. Dads can be a real pain, but nothing like the void when they are gone.
I know. I lost mine 27 years ago and have missed his both his counsel and his wisdom every day of my life since. Not to mention the security that came from knowing that wherever my Dad was for as long as he lived, for me, THAT was home. As a young man, with a developing family of my own, my house was my home, but it was just a subsidiary of my REAL home, which was one goes for shelter from the world.
When my Dad died, that shelter was gone. Together with the best counselor and advisor I ever had. Dad was the only person whose motives I could absolutely trust to be in my best interests. Even if my best interests diverged from his own.
That’s what fathers do. And when you still have your Dad, you take him for granted, simply BECAUSE he is always there for you. A shelter in a time of storm, if I may borrow a phrase and apply it to the earthly shelter of ‘home’.
But when your Dad is gone, your world changes.
And on Father’s Day especially, you realize what an empty place this old world is without Dad.
Father’s Day is an excellent time to remember to honor our Heavenly Father, as well. When He wants to make a point, He makes it several times, as we’ve already noted.
Deuteronomy 6:2 commanded the children of Israel, (His children);
“That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.”
National Israel failed to honor their Father, and their days of life as a nation were cut short.
But it is more than fear our Father expects of us. He expects us to love Him. Not by doing great things, or being Joe Christian or by some ritual or gesture.
“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalms 51:16-17)
It is with that broken spirit and contrite heart that we come to our Savior. And any who come are not despised, but welcomed as prodigal sons, who were lost, and now are found.
When Abram, the father of the Jews, made his covenant with God, he asked God for a legal contract. In the legal system of the time, this entailed dismembering certain animals in a ritual, and intermingling their bloodied parts in piles, forming a kind of ‘aisle’ through which both parties would walk, hands joined.
This was a BLOOD covenant. The symbolism of the joined hands and the grisly piles meant both parties were forever joined, but if either party broke the contract, they would end up as dismembered as the animals that formed the aisleway.
But as Abram waited for God, a deep sleep fell on him, during which time he saw what transpired in a vision. Instead of Abram being made a party to the covenant,
“and behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp [that] passed between those pieces.” (Genesis 15:17)
Abram (and his descendants) were made the beneficiaries of the covenant, but were not held accountable for keeping it. However, in order for it to be valid, somebody had to die, and God signed on both sides!
At the appointed time, God in the Person of Jesus Christ His Son, stepped out of eternity and into space and time to pay Abram’s ransom. In so doing, He paid the ransom of sin for us all.
In Mark 14:36, as He prayed before honoring the Father’s wishes, He cried out “Abba!”
To this day, Israeli children call their parents “Abba” (Daddy) and “Eeema” (Mommy). That was the relationship that existed between the Lord Jesus and The Father, as the Father prepared to allow His Son to be dismembered so that your ransom might be paid.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we now enjoy that same relationship with our Father, with the added security of adoption.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
Under Hebrew law, a father could disown his son under certain circumstances, and that son would be, in terms of any relationship with his father, declared legally dead.
BUT, the same law FORBIDS a father from disowning a son by adoption. The reasoning is that by adoption is a solemn responsibility that once entered into voluntarily, cannot be broken.
Don’t forget your Dad this Father’s Day. And have your priorities straight.
You aren’t doing it for him. You’re doing it for YOU.
Thank You, Abba. Happy Father’s Day.
Note: This article was originally published June 15, 2003 exactly one decade ago to the day. In the way only "Jack" could, he already wrote down exactly how we are all feeling this weekend. I sure do miss him. - Kari
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