On this Father’s Day, what’s more appropriate than looking into the life of our spiritual father Abraham. His birth name, Abram, means ‘exalted father’ but God changed it to Abraham meaning ‘father of a multitude’ and we are included in this vast army if we have accepted Christ’s atoning death for our sins. From Abraham’s seed we trace our ancestry “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16 NKJV).
At some point, you’ve probably heard how God interfered with Abram’s life. While living in Ur of the Chaldees, God summoned him to leave his home, family and familiar surroundings; promising that he would become a great nation with abundant blessings. He obeyed and went out not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8). Problem number one: Abram had no descendants and his wife Sarai’s barrenness made it impossible to fulfill God’s word.
Years later, to rectify the problem, Sarah handed over her handmaiden Hagar that she might bear an heir for them. Count that as problem number two—not exactly what God had in mind. Bitter as the trial had been to ‘cast out’ Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Hagar, it was only a preparation for a far more severe test of his faith and obedience.
Miraculously, Sarah produced Isaac, the son of promise and God commanded Abraham to sacrifice this beloved son “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love and go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Gen 22:2 NKJV). In spite of impossible odds, Abraham had genuine faith in the promises of God and remains today a prime example of a righteous man.
Like any father, Abraham loved both sons, Isaac and Ishmael—God understood that. After all, God Himself is a father. You see, what really matters to God is that we give Him first place in every area of our lives. Do we have what it takes? Like Abraham’s unwavering faith, are we willing to sacrifice all we have for Him? Tough questions, no doubt. We can be assured, however, that Jesus will never ask more of us than what He’s already walked through Himself (Hebrews 4:15).
Most loving Father, on this Father’s Day, I ask a special blessing upon all natural fathers, spiritual fathers and fathers-to-be. Giving you all the glory. Amen.