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March 14, 2010

Famous Fathers of the Old Testament

by Dave Malnes

A gold mine of truth and wisdom is at our fingertips for those willing to search.  Precious nuggets of comfort or direction can be readily found in the Bible and directly applied to our present needs.  God’s Word even presents to us case studies on fatherhood, not to mention advice.

When you dig deep enough, you can find nuggets of truth on fatherhood in the Bible, yet you would be surprised on what we can learn.  Great Old Testament heroes of faith from the Old Testament gives us some stunning examples of neglect and mistakes which caused great personal heartache and distress.  They proved their humanness through their errors, yet displayed an underlying quality of a great devotion and commitment to God.  They were sinful, but the Lord still used them to carry out His purposes.

A new ray of hope is given to us when we discover that God still uses error-prone fathers.  When we learn to trust and devote our lives to serving Christ our Lord, and commit ourselves to being good fathers, He will lead and guide us in our efforts.

In this series, I would like to analyze a few famous fathers from the Old Testament including Jacob, David, Isaac and Abraham.  But it would only be appropriate to start with our first father, Adam.  Tragically, it is Adam that set the stage for all generations by allowing sin into the world that has played havoc in all of our lives and relationships.

When sin originated from our first parents, sibling rivalry soon followed.  Cain, the oldest brother, could be described as the notorious strong-willed child.  The obedient and compliant Abel, the youngest brother, was looked on with favor by God.  When the time came for each brother to give an offering to the Lord, Cain brought a basket of fruit while Abel offered choice portions of meat from the firstborn of his flock.  God expressed disappointment in Cain’s careless and thoughtless offering and approved of Abel’s generosity.  The years of never measuring up to his younger brother proved to be too much for Cain.  In a jealous rage, Cain tragically murdered Abel out in the field.

The Bible does not give an account on how Adam was as a father, but I can only imagine the intense pressure of having Grandpa Yahweh always looking over his shoulder.  Adam had already blew it in the garden, so Grandpa decided to take matters into His own hands by promptly punishing His grandson and forever cursing him as a “restless wanderer on the earth.”

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