Tim Throckmorton: Importance of fatherhood in Old Testament
As we celebrated Father’s Day this past weekend, I was pleasantly amused by something a friend sent me… The Men’s Thesaurus… (Moms will find this incredibly helpful!)
When a man says “IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN” He means: “I have no idea how it works” When a man says: “IT’S A GUY THING.” He means: “There is no rational thought pattern connected with this, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.” When a man says “UH HUH, SURE HONEY,” or “YES, DEAR.” He means: Absolutely nothing — It’s a conditioned response.
When a man says “I’M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.’’ He means: “It may be that no one will ever see us alive again.” All kidding aside please hear me today, dads… Fathering counts, you are remarkably important!
Just a few of the verses that underscore the importance of fatherhood are located in the last verses of the Old Testament. “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
That’s an amazing statement! The way to avoid total destruction in a nation is for the hearts of the father and the children to come back together.
The implication is that if this does not happen it will bring national destruction. Absorb these facts… “70 percent of inmates in juvenile detention centers, 72 percent of juvenile murderers, 60 percent of all rapists, 70 percent of all teenage births, 70 percent of teenage drop outs, 63 percent of youth suicides, 80 percent of prison inmates and 90 percent of the homeless…”
The one thing that all of these have in common, there was no father in the home! Dads, you are remarkably important. Dartmouth professor Gregory Slaten “fatherhood failure is threatening our nation… fatherhood is a man’s most important job, and one of society’s most important roles.” Dads you are remarkably important.
Here’s the great news… Dads, God will use us regardless of who we are.“Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”Here’s God communicating with someone He wanted to use.
For years the people of Israel had been in slavery to the Egyptians. They were miserable and had cried out to God for deliverance. God was looking for a leader. He chose Moses. God calls everyone who wants to follow Him to do something. Moses was overwhelmed because of his perception of himself… not what God saw in him.
Dads, God wants us to do things that are beyond our own power. Moses and God continue their dialogue: Moses… they won’t believe me. God… What is that in thine hand? And he said, a rod. You see, God often uses what He has already equipped us with to accomplish His will. When God calls you and me to do something it is not because of our ability it is because we are available and teachable. Whatever God is calling you to do, He will empower you and enable you to do it as long as you give Him the credit and honor.
Dads, God will empower us for the entire journey. Now here is the most interesting part of this story: Moses has just been talking with God. God is asking Him to go and lead the Jews out of Egyptian bondage. It is a huge task with unbelievable risks and dangers. It is a life-threatening, life-altering move. So, God assures Moses… “And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.”It is an incredible thing really. God calling on one of us to do something for Him and yet that is how His work gets done, especially the important work of being a dad!
Derek Redmond arrived at the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona determined to win a medal in the 400. Derek’s father Jim had accompanied him to Barcelona, just as he did for all world competitions. They were as close as a father and son could be, the best of friends. The stadium is packed with 65,000 fans, bracing themselves for one of sport’s greatest and most exciting spectacles.
The race begins and Redmond breaks from the pack and quickly seizes the lead. Down the backstretch, only 175 meters away from finishing, he hears a pop in his right hamstring. He pulls up in great pain, as if he had been shot. Derek Redmond lifts himself to his feet, ever so slowly, and starts hobbling down the track. Suddenly, Jim Redmond finally gets to the bottom of the stands, leaps over the railing and reaches his son at the final curve, about 120 meters from the finish, and wraps his arm around his waist. Together, arm in arm, father and son, with 65,000 people cheering, clapping and crying, finish the race! In this race we call life may we never forget, dads matter!
Tim Throckmorton is the National Director of Community Impact Teams at The Family Research Council. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.