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The Spirit of the Father
The Glory of the Father is in the Son
A Father's Day Message for all time.
By Ken Raggio
The pronoun that is most-used in the Bible to identify God is "Father."
He is often referred to as "the God of thy Fathers." Most often, "the fathers" were the ancient patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
It is curious to note that God especially makes the connection between Himself and His children directly through their fathers. In doing so, He associates Himself with the most respected human being in each person's life - their father.
It is as if He says, "I am the God your father believed in. I am the God your father had a relationship with. I am the God who established your father as the leader and ruler over your household.
And since your father submitted himself to me, you should also submit yourself to me. I am the one who has directed your father's paths, and I will continue to direct YOUR paths."
Authority starts over when marriage begins.
The first reference to father in the book of Genesis was an instruction for the husband in a newly married couple to leave his father and cleave unto his wife. As soon as a man is married, he embarks upon a journey of redefined responsibilities. Whereas he was formerly under the constant supervision of his father, the young married man is moved immediately into a position corresponding to the one his father previously occupied. Eventually, the young man would find his shoulders carrying the same loads of authority he had seen his father bear.
Some may not be able to relate well to the true father spirit.
In our modern times,
fathers are not as highly esteemed as they once were. They are not
respected or reverenced for their God-given role in the family. One of the greatest travesties of our time is the degradation of fatherhood. Fathers were intended to play critical roles in the family, and by extension, all of society.
From Biblical times, a father was the highest authority in the entire social structure. Before kings and kingdoms, there was the household and the family. The father was the king of his own household. A son or a daughter was closely governed by the father. And the father was highly esteemed and reverenced above all others by his children.
Known by the father's name
A young man did not have a surname. He was known as the son of so and so. A great deal of a man's identity was associated with who he was the father of or who he was the son of. Jabal (in Genesis 4) was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle. Jubal was known as the father of all who handle the harp or organ, (or the father of music and musicians). The fellow named Tubel-cain, the inventor of brass and iron works was named after his great-grandfather CAIN.
The father was more significant in the genealogies
Most of the time, the wife and mother were not even mentioned by name. When a genealogy was given, it was generally only a list of the fathers and grandfathers of a young man. It was certainly not as it is today, where the men notoriously leave the childrearing and training up to the mothers. Women had relatively little say in the important decisions of what the young man would do with his life. The father's blessing was a crucial need in a young man's future.
It should be noted that the importance of fatherhood was instituted by God Himself. Whenever God showed Himself to Abraham and swore in a covenant that He would bless Abraham, one of the principal things that God intended to do with Abraham was to make him the FATHER of many nations (Genesis 17:4). In fact, the very name ABRAM means EXALTED FATHER, and the modified name, ABRAHAM means FATHER OF MULTITUDES.
One of God's great intentions for a man is to establish him as a father.
The outstanding criteria that God used in selecting Abraham was that he knew that Abraham would command his children after him.
When God instructed Abraham to go to Mount Moriah and offer up his son Isaac on a sacrificial altar, the child asked where the lamb would come from, to which Abraham replied "The Lord will provide Himself a lamb." Isaac's survival depended entirely upon his father Abraham's faith in God.
Faith of our Fathers
In fact, Isaac's very fame and fortune was inherited from his father. Isaac's importance came from his father. Jacob got in line for that blessing. Jacob knew the value of his grandfather Abraham's good standing with God, and he knew that his father Isaac was the only one who could give it to him. His mother Rebekah also knew that was the case, and she went to great lengths to please Isaac with the famous faux venison. Eventually, even Esau came to realize that he had tragically underestimated the value of his father's blessing and posterity.
Joseph was also famous for the blessing that was on his life. But we must not forget that Joseph's favor with God began with favor with his father, Jacob (Israel). Israel was the absolutely essential ingredient in Joseph's success. Why did Joseph stand out among his brothers, and why did he get special treatment from God? It was altogether his father's influence.
Look at Genesis and see
the relationship between Israel and Joseph:
1. 37:4 -
Israel loved Joseph,
more than all his brethren.
(A father should deliberately love his children).
2. verse 10,
His father rebuked
him, attempted to prevent Joseph's offending his brethren.
(A father should deliberately provide wise correction of the child's errors.
3. Verse 11, his father observed his saying.
(Fathers should deliberately pay attention to
their children, and take them seriously).
4. Verse 35, His father wept for him
(Fathers should be moved to the very depths of their souls for their
children when they are in trouble).
5. Genesis 42:36-38, When the older sons tried to persuade Jacob to take young Benjamin down to Egypt, he dug in his heels. He was adamant that his kids not be subjected to any foolish risks. He had already lost one son, and was not about to lose another one.
(A father should deliberately take it upon himself to look after the welfare of his kids, not allowing them to get into dangerous situations.)
In addition, he considered the risk of his children to be risks against himself: "all these things are against me," v 36.
Jacob and Joseph's story reveals the most overwhelming evidences: The father's glory is in the son.
When the time finally came for Jacob to go down to Egypt to see Joseph, the Lord spoke to Israel in a vision (or dream) of the night. He said, "I am God - the God of thy father: fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will make there of thee a great nation."
THIS WAS THE CONTINUATION of God's covenant with Abraham (to be the father of many nations), and IT COULD ONLY BE FULFILLED when the old man finally looked upon Joseph in the courts of Pharaoh. Only after Joseph had been exalted to the second chariot in the kingdom, and the ring of authority was on his finger, and the wisdom of God was in his mind and on his lips, then and only then did the promises of God begin to unfold for the old man. Only when he found himself looking into the eyes of the son who has reached his own maturity and stature, would the old man realize that this is where God always intended him to be.
God has designed that the glory of a father is not in the amount of money he accumulates. The glory of a father is not in the size of his house. The glory of a father is not in the position he has attained on the job, or the number of degrees he has to his name. It is not in the number of friends he has down at the social club.
The glory of the Father is in the Son
God's word to Israel (v 4) said, "I will go down with thee to Egypt, and I will also surely bring thee up again. And Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes."
We know that Jacob died in Egypt. We know that he returned to the Promised Land in a coffin. That was a type of the resurrection of the dead: We are all going to die in Egypt. Egypt is a type of the world. Canaan land, the Promised Land is a type of Heaven. This world is not my home. Egypt is not my home. But we know it is appointed unto a man once to die, and afterward, the judgment.
But Jesus assured us that there is going to be a resurrection of the dead. Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with a shout and with the trumpet of God and the voice of an archangel, and the dead in Christ are going to rise. When the rapture takes place, we are going to be with the Lord forever and ever and ever after that. We are all looking forward to and longing for the rapture of the church.
But we also know that until Jesus comes, many will sleep in the dust of the earth. That is a very negative ingredient in an otherwise exciting story. In fact, Paul said in Hebrews that there have been MANY, MANY of the great saints of all the ages who have had to face their dying day without ever having received the Promised Land they were looking for. Jacob didn't get to enjoy his Promised Land.
Father's gratification is delayed
WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! Genesis 37:1 says that Jacob dwelled in the land where his FATHER was a STRANGER, in the land of Canaan. Acts 13:7 says that they were also strangers in the land of Egypt. But, we know what happened in Egypt. God turned their plight around. A plight is a dangerous or a sad situation, an awkward state of affairs.
I do not know all of the ramifications of God's reasoning. I do not know why Jacob was on a schedule of delayed gratification. I do not know why Jacob could not see the deed to Canaan land in his lifetime. I only know that God does everything well. I know that what God doesn't finish in Jacob's time, He will finish in another time.
God told Jacob, "Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes."
This statement was a message about Jacob's death. It was customary for the nearest of kin to close the eyes and kiss the corpse of a loved one at death. God was performing a ceremony of crowning glory for Israel when he arranged for Joseph to do this special task. It wouldn't be Judah, or Benjamin, or Issachar or Reuben. It wouldn't be any of the doubters or the skeptics or the jealous ones. It would be the one whom the father loved.
It would be the father's GLORY to see God mightily use the very one he had invested so much in! The one he loved. The one he rebuked. The one he observed his sayings. The one he wept for. The one he refused to take risks with. The one he thought he had lost forever.
By the will of God, this very boy would be the one standing by Israel's bedside when he died.
He would be the one to close his eyes and kiss goodbye. THE LAST THING JACOB was going to see was not the Promised Land. Oh, it would have been so good to see that Promised Land. It would have been so good to take possession, to really own the title, to sign the deed, to divide it among all the children. But that was not what God had planned for that moment. Jacob's joy and his crowning glory was not the Promised Land.
It would be that SON. That son is the perpetuation of the work of God in Jacob's life. While Jacob is rotting in his grave, that boy is going to get glory for God. That boy is going to carry on in the footsteps of faith. That boy is going to lay hands on his sons and teach them the ways of God. That boy is going to build a legacy for an entire nation. The glory of God is going to multiply, but the way it is going to multiply is by the very process that has already been laid in that grave. GOD IS GOING TO CARRY ON HIS WORK in that young father.
The greatest thing a father can ever accomplish is to perpetuate the will of God in his son.
Amazingly, it is all speaks of eternal verities. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself." What God never accomplished in the Old Testament, His Son would accomplish in His day. Isaiah spoke of Jesus Christ the Messiah and declared that His name would be "Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting FATHER!" Jesus would not work in and of Himself. He said "the Son of Man can do nothing of himself, but the Father worketh in Him."
In another place, He said, "My Father worketh, and I work." Jesus was not just a mirror of His Father, He was the INCARNATION of his father. The Spirit of the Father was in Him. He said, "When you have seen me, you have seen the Father." So Jesus Christ was the embodiment of everything His Father was. As a child, He had recognized that He was here "to be about my Father's business."
The glory of the Father was in the Son. The GLORY of the Father that Moses had desired to see in ancient days could not be seen until the day he stood on the Mount of Transfiguration and looked at the glory of God "in the face of Jesus Christ."
You see, the Spirit of the Father is the Spirit of unselfishness. It is the Spirit of sacrificing himself for His Son. Rather than to find fulfillment in Himself alone, He chose to find fulfillment in His Son. The Father glorified Himself in the Son, that the Son in turn might glorify Himself in the Father. In John 15:8 Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."
FATHER SPIRIT was in Jesus. His ministry was the FATHER ministry. Make his sons fruitful!
Father gave all to the Son. But in the end, the Son will give all the glory back to the Father.
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