Lessons From Fathers in the Bible - Reflection on Abraham

Father and baby.  Image by Agastecheg, Stock.xchng
Father and baby. Image by Agastecheg, Stock.xchng

It's interesting to study and learn about the different father figures in the Bible. Though this hub series do not list all of them, I have listed some of the more notable ones. They were included in this list not because they were the best of fathers but because there is something that can be learned from how they've been as fathers. Some actually displayed negative fatherhood which we can do the opposite of what they did. Here, we can appreciate how truthful the Bible is in narrating their stories. They show that they are real persons as we are, so that their lives may serve as examples for us to follow and warnings for us to heed as well. They are:

  1. Abraham - The Father Who Sacrificed His Son (this hub) and next hubs
  2. Isaac and Jacob - The Fathers Who Played Favorites
  3. Eli, the High Priest -The Fathers Who Failed to Discipline

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac.  Image by Laurent de LaHire, Wikimedia Commons
Abraham Sacrificing Isaac. Image by Laurent de LaHire, Wikimedia Commons

Abraham - The Father Who Sacrificed His Son

Abraham was the man God called to leave his country (Ur of the Chaldeans), his people and his father's household and promised to give him land, fame, great posterity and blessings (See Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham proved himself to be the kind of faithful and obedient man that God is looking for that's why it is said of him "he believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).

His greatest test was when God asked him to take his only son, Isaac, whom he love, and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on Mount Moriah. (Genesis 22:1-19) He obeyed without any resistance nor hesitation. As he was about to slay his son, the angel of the Lord stopped him and said not to lay a hand on the boy because "Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." As a result of Abraham's complete obedience, he received abundant blessings, everything that God has promised.

The question that keeps popping up in my mind is "Why did Abraham willingly sacrificed Isaac?" Doesn't Abraham love Isaac? Didn't he just waited 25 long years after God promised him a seed before Isaac was born? Why was it that he obeyed God completely, no questions asked?

Love God Above All Things

Through the years of Abraham's experience with God, he must have learned that God is above all things. Remember when he bargained with God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of 50, 45, 40, 30, 20 and finally 10 righteous people? (Genesis 18-19) God agreed to Abraham's bargain not to destroy the cities for the sake of 10. Yet only three were saved and the cities were destroyed.

Again, remember when he didn't trust God enough to protect him during the time he lived in Egypt (Genesis 12:10-20) and in Gerar (Genesis 20:1-17)? He half-lied saying Sarah was his sister so that the Pharaoh and the King Abimelech of Gerar will not kill him because Sarah was very beautiful. Both rulers and their households were punished because of what he did.

Finally, with the birth of Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7), Abraham was overjoyed and have seen that truly God is faithful to His promises. God certainly knows what is best. What He demands only is complete faith and obedience.

Well, that is easier said than done. But Abraham has learned his lesson well. Now, he loves the Lord with all his heart, soul and strength that he was able to give up the one he loved the most, his son. Now, his trust and obedience to God comes first before anything else. When he sacrificed Isaac, it showed that he has finally learned to surrender everything in his life to God.


Why Should Fathers Love and Obey God?

Loving and obeying God is often a struggle because it means giving up something one truly loves and wants. Some trade their time for God and family, to work overtime to earn more money. Some trade their integrity just to close a business deal or to grab that promotion. Some insist on what they want for their children instead of what God wants (somehow the abused children comes to mind). However, as a father, it is important that he puts God first in his life. When God takes a priority position in a father's life, God is able to freely move and bless the family.

God desires godly children. The Lord said He is seeking godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). How can the children be godly? Faith is not inherited but developed. It is the father's responsibility to model to his children his love and obedience to God. Why do you think Isaac didn't resist when his father sacrificed him to God? His faith in God sprung forth from the same faith that his father had.

God blesses the family. After Abraham had overcome his final test, the angel of the LORD told Abraham a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Genesis 22:15-18) What can stop God from pouring out His blessings on those who are truly obedient to His commands? The enemy may try to send problems on the way, but God's will will prevail. If God is for us, who can be against us?

Summary

Abraham learned to love God so much so that he willingly sacrificed his only son, Isaac, to God in obedience to His command. God did not really want Isaac dead but He wants Abraham fully devoted to Him. Having proven so, God was able to bless Abraham beyond what he had ever imagined.

Reflection

Can we in any way imitate Abraham in his love and obedience to God?  What is "the Isaac" that God is asking us to give up that we may fully be devoted to him?

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Comments 11 comments

Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks, Tricia, for linking my hub. I really appreciate it.


Tricia Ward profile image

Tricia Ward 4 years ago from Scotland

Nice Hub. I have put a link in my hub from the lips of children.


ladee 5 years ago

it is interesting story


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 6 years ago from Philippines Author

The fact that children model their father's faith should never be dismissed. It should always remind us fathers (even mothers) to be careful how we live our lives as an example for our children to follow. I hope, too, that men (and women) will value their example of faith. Thanks, Tamarajo.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 6 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Yes, it is so important for fathers to show families their love and faith. I like your take on how Isaac modeled His fathers faith.

Hebrews 11:18 talks about Abraham going through with it because "he believed" that God would raise him from the dead.

I hope men understand how truly valuable their example of faith is.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I am glad to read about this chin, plus it is timely, Fathers day last Sunday, I am amused by the story of Father Abraham the most, and I like Isaac story too, Maita


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 6 years ago from Philippines Author

DeBorrah, we are indeed blessed because of what Abraham did and we will continue to be if we obey God like him. Blessings.

prayn4u, you're right that love and obedience should be on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Alta5656, it was really hard for Jephthah to keep his vow - sacrificing his virgin daughter to the Lord. That really warns us that making promises, especially to the Lord, is serious business. So we need to think things through many times before we commit something. And when we do, we need to do it.

You have a nice collection of short stories on Bible Figures. God bless.


prayn4u profile image

prayn4u 6 years ago

Amen...my reflection although i am a wife, no children I still need to love and obey God daily...Beautiful post..Gods Peace (smile)


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Chin chin, Nice hub! Great examples! We all inherit the Blessings of Abraham through our obedience to the Lord. Praise God! Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Peace & Blessings!


Alta5656 profile image

Alta5656 6 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

Hi Chin, thanks for the nice and warm hub. One of my favorite father and child bible story is that of Jephthah and his virgin daughter. It is another one about obedience, and keeping one's vow to God however hard it is for both the father and the daughter. I have it posted though in another website (Short Stories On Bible Figures). I haven't posted new ones since I joined Hubpages.

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