Fathers like to give things to their children: A ball glove, a bicycle, a frilly dress, the opportunity to get a good education, an inheritance; all are examples of things a father desires to share with his children. A father also shares of himself. To leave a good work ethic and good morals is many fathers dream. It is also his desire to leave faith with his family: to leave them with hope in God and a hope for a better and long lasting future.
After determining that his people, his children, would be taken captive into the land of Babylon and would remain there for 70 years, listen as God speaks to his people of his desires for them and his plan for their future:
More than anything else on Father’s Day we need to be impressed by the love and concern of loving fathers: your father, your grandfather, Abraham the father of the faithful, and God our heavenly Father. The hearts of the fathers need to be turned to their children. Do you remember the prophecy given to Zacharias concerning the birth of a son in his and Elizabeth’s old age?
- "For thus says the Lord, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.12 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jer 29:10-13 (NASB)
This father and mother who had long desired a child; this father whose heart had been turned to a child which was yet to be born; were going to have a son who would share their concern and turn the hearts of the fathers to their children. Fathers in this and past generations have so busied themselves with making a living for the family that they have little time to be concerned with the emotional and psychological needs of their families.
- But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.14 "You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb.16 "And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.17 "It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children , and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Luke 1:13-17 (NASB)
GIVER OF GIFTS
Our loving heavenly father is a “rewarder of those who seek him”. Heb. 11:6. A rewarder is one who gives a reward. God loves to give. He has the wealth of the universe to share with his children. He once asked, “if I am a father where is my honor?” (Mal. 1:6) He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matt 5:45 (NASB) Not only does he reward those who seek him but he also sends his blessing on all of his creation.
- "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?10 "Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matt 7:9-11 (NASB)
- Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. James 1:17 (NLT)
We are told in the Bible that Abraham believed God. Rom. 4:3. Because of his dynamic faith in God he became the father of the faithful; a title given to him because he simply believed God. He proved that he believed God in many ways. God gave promises to him and he simply believed that he would, in God’s time, according to his plan, fulfill those promises to him and to his offspring.
Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. Rom. 4:9. It is very important to believe God and to believe what God has promised. Abraham’s faith in God’s promises endears him not only to the Jews but also to the rest of the world—Gentiles. (Rom. 4:10-12) This presents to the Lord a situation where he will not take into account Abraham’s sin because of and due to his faith. (Rom. 4:8) This blessing is offered to all the nations of the earth through Abraham and his seed; a blessing to all those who walk in the steps of their father Abraham.
- Even so Abraham believed God , and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations will be blessed in you." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham , the believer. Gal 3:6-9 (NASB)
This comes to the very heart of Abrahamic Faith. God is a giver of good and perfect gifts. (James 1:17) He promised a special gift to Abraham; a gift of land, land which according to Paul was to include the world. (Rom. 4:13) The land promise to Abraham was given to him because of his faith in God.
- For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. Romans 4:8-13 (NASB)
You really need to get this: “all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants”. Now it is apparent that Abraham is dead. He died in faith not having received the promise. Heb. 11:13. But he had a promise given to him by God that he and his descendants would be given the land which he died without receiving. He died without receiving even a foot of the ground God had promised him. He died believing he would receive that land. That is faith!
- The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;15 for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. Gen 13:14-15 (NASB)
- After his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living.5 "But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him. Acts 7:4-5 (NASB)
SONS AND DAUGHTERS
- For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants , not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,17 (as it is written, "A father of many nations have I made you") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "So shall your descendants be." Romans 4:16-18 (NASB)
|Being children of Abraham, we become heirs of the promises which God made to him through faith. Now I want you to understand this. Do you know what an heir is? An heir is the inheritor, heir apparent, heir presumptive, the one who will inherit the promises given. We stand to inherit the promise which God made to Abraham, the promise of land, the promise of the world. Does that make you feel special? You full well should!
- For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 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. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; Romans 8:14-17 (KJV)
Now don’t run past that too quickly. What does it mean to be Heirs of God? God is the one who promised the land to Abraham. Abraham is the one who died without receiving the promise. Upon Abraham’s death the promise made to him was passed on to his descendants.
The promise is also included to Abraham’s seed and those who are termed as joint heirs with Christ. Now what does that mean? Now listen carefully and do not fail to get this. It is the basis of our hope for the future; a future not in heaven but on the earth.
- Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant , yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it.16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ.17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Gal 3:15-18 (NASB)
Paul puts a fine point on this promise to Abraham’s seed. He was saying this: the promise was actually made to Abraham and to Christ. If we belong to Christ; which is what it means to be a Christian; then we are Abraham’s seed and an heir to the promises God made to Abraham. Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. This makes the prophecy given in Psalms stand up and shout to us:
- For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants , heirs according to promise. Gal 3:26-29 (NASB)
This prophecy was to the Son of God who would be born and would be given the uttermost parts of the earth. Why? Because he is an heir through the promise his Father, God, had made to Abraham who also was his father. If you don’t believe it look in Jesus’ birth certificate released by Luke and Matthew, 2000 years ago. (It's the long form) Luke 3:23-38 and Matthew 1:1-17. Jesus, being the seed of Abraham was a heir of the promise made to Abraham.
- "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. Psalms 2:7-8 (NASB)
I hope you can now see through the eyes of our heavenly father and through the eyes of Abraham who is the father of us all and through the eyes of the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, who is the seed to whom the promise was made, what this means to our hope for the future.
- Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;15 for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. Genesis 13:14-15.
We, like the children of Israel, may for now have to wander about as strangers and pilgrims in the earth, (Heb.11:13) as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wandered about in the land they should after receive for an inheritance. (Heb. 11:8-9) However, the time will come when the great giver of good and perfect gifts, will give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the land, to Abraham's seed, Jesus, the land as well as to you and I, the land.
UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH
Jesus was quoting form the Psalms which emphasises this point six times in the thirty seventh chapter of Psalms. It is no coincidence that Jesus used the word "blessed". God had said to Abraham, Blessing I will bless thee. (Gen. 22:17) KJV The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 contains many blessings. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are they that mourn. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the pure in heart. Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you.
- Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Matt. 5:5
- Those that wait upon the LORD shall inherit the earth. Psa. 37:9
- But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Psa. 37:11
- For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth. Psa. 37:22
- The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever. Psa. 37:29
- Wait on the LORD and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land. Psa. 37:34
- The LORD knoweth the days of the upright and their inheritance shall be for ever. Psa. 37:18.
Your parents might have left you acres of land; a large amount ofmoney; worldly goods all, but look what God has left Abraham because of his faithfulness. Look what Abraham has left Jesus his seed because of his faithfulness. Look what it means to belong to Jesus because of our faith. Now what will we leave the future generations because of our faithfulness? Abraham is the father of many nations. Our country of America is blessed because of faithful Abraham who is the father of us all.
What a great blessing is offered to us through our faith in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. (Rom. 4:24). Are you ready to hear about another part of the great blessing? What a blessing.
- And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:8-9 KJV
Have you received of that blessing? Have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? (His death, burial and resurrection) Remember Jesus’ words to Nicodemus:
- "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account." Romans 4:8 (NASB)
- "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NASB)