Thursday, September 27, 2012

Not Parents Needed, But One Parent

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

"And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. " (Genesis 2: 24-25)

Strange but true -- the first mention of "father" in the Bible describes a  man "leaving" his father and becoming one flesh with his wife. Wife, not husband.

Yet the type and shadow provided for us is more about our unity with Christ through His life given to us through the Holy Spirit. "Eve" means "life", and "Adam" ("man") is called to join and become one with life, which is Jesus!

In frequent scriptures, the failure of earthly fathers is manifold:

"And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness." (Genesis 9: 23)

Of course, Noah's victory began not with what he did, but with what God saw when he looked upon him:

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." (Genesis 6: 8)

Grace has nothing to do with us, as it is unearned, unmerited, undeserved favor. In this respect, then, did Noah become a good father.

Abram received the call from the Lord to leave his family:

"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:" (Genesis 12: 1)

Lot, the nephew of Abraham, was a bad father, in that he failed to walk by faith (Genesis 13: 10) and chose to live in Sodom and Gomorrah, cities so teeming with iniquity that the Lord destroyed them, after warning Lot and his family to flee.

"30And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose." (Genesis 19: 30-33)

Unlike the two sons of Noah, the two daughters seduced their own flesh and blood into incestuously raising a new generation after Lot.

Wow -- a father who lost everything because he walked by sight, not by faith, only to endure incest that his daughters would carry on his name. The law had not yet been given, but such intercourse is unseemly, to say the least.

Abraham shares how God caused him to leave his own father:

"And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother." (Genesis 20: 13)

Here, the verb "wander" is:
תָּעָה taah
God caused Abraham to wander from his father here on earth, in the same manner that God outlined that every man would leave father and mother and become one flesh with his wife.

The Hebrew word for "wander" is composed of the three letters:

תָּ  tav -- Cross
עָ  ayin -- Eye
ה  heh -- Grace

From the Cross, you then see God's grace, that will cause you to be a wanderer on this Earth, yet a receiver of Great Promises.

When Joseph was separate from his family, losing his mother after she gave birth to his younger brother Benjamin,then losing everyone else when his brothers betrayed him, Joseph endured untold privations and humiliations, yet he was a prosperous man because the Lord was with him (Genesis 39: 2)

When he was promoted from the prison to  the palace, God graced him with honor and glory, a beautiful wife, and two blessed children:

"And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.

"And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." (Genesis 41: 51-52)

"God has made me forget" -- in our growing up from childhood to manhood, we are called to detach from our old identities, from Adam dead in our trespasses, from our identity in our earthly parents. By doing so, we are fruitful to God, because then His Holy Spirit can bear fruit in our lives.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up." (Psalm 27: 10)

Of course, one can easily read into this verse the hardships that many of us have endured as children, abandoned by parents, unsure of ourselves in the world.

Yet every verse testifies to One who was abandoned for us:

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27: 46)

So that we can rest in the Promise of Hebrews:

"For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13: 5)

We have nothing to fear if our earthly parents abandon us, for by abiding in Christ Jesus, we receive Life and more abundantly through Him.

Another hero, or heroine rather, also identifies that great things that we are called to, which do not require that we lean on our earthly parents to get there:

"And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter." (Esther 2: 7)

God used Esther to move the King of Persia to kill the enemy of the Jews -- Haman -- and then to issue decree which would permit the Jews to defend themselves from evil hordes which Haman ordered to kill. She did not know who her parents were, but she knew that she was called to great things, and throughout the Book of Esther, it is the Lord who moves in all things that Esther, another type and shadow of our Savior, who represents us before the King to fight for us.

"Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:

"And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. " (Amos 7: 14-15)

Amos, like many prophets, stepped out of the fold to preach the Truth to God's people. The high priest of Israel, Amaziah, told him to go preach elsewhere and stop troubling the people of the Northern Kingdom. He had no precedent for prophesying, but he had the word of the Lord, and that was enough.

Throughout the Old Testament, there is a lot of "Dad-Basing". What is all of this "Dad-bashing" all about? Let us look to the New Testament of the fullness of the revelation:

"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." (Matthew 23: 9)

The goal is that we all rest and depend on God as Father, not as some imperious, imperial monarch who far and way knows of us, yet does not know us:

"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)


"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4: 6)

Also in Hebrews, the writer compares our earthly fathers to God the Father:

"Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

"For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness." (Hebrews 12: 9-10)

One parent is needed, and that is God the Father, and we receive Him through the Holy Spirit, who is shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5: 5) because Jesus sent Him forth to us. Receive His protection, and let Him raise you in the Way of Life.

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