God, Our Ever-Present Father
There is a social reality these days called “the missing father” that has a drastic negative effect on individuals and society. Studies document that children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens. (http://www.fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness/ ) Those are the results of fatherlessness. We probably all know people or perhaps we ourselves have been affected by a missing father or an abusive father or even a father who did his best but still hurt us in some way. That’s the way life with its many pitfalls and challenges seems to be.
Hopefully you have heard the good news that we have a heavenly Father, our Creator God, who can heal all our hurts and give us a fresh start and be that comforting, guiding, ever present Father we all long for. As we have been learning as we study the book of Jonah, our summer sermon series, God the Father is all present, all knowing. We can’t hide anywhere from Him. He cares about His children and pursues a relationship with us. He wants our obedience, because as all-powerful, all-wise, omnipotent God, He knows what is best for us.
Fortunately, as our Creator, God didn’t just leave us on our own in this fallen world guessing what He wants, what His will is. He left us the “canon” of Scripture, a historical record of His dealings with His people, meticulously guarded and verified down through the centuries, His message to us about Who He is, what He is like, what He expects His children to be and do and why. Often we as parents, though we want the best for our children and do our best for them, because we are limited in our knowledge or ability may fail them. That will never happen with God, when we obey His Word and His ways. And the best thing about being a parent is knowing that we have God supporting us, He who created our children and loves them even more than we do. As we live our lives in obedience to God, asking His guidance for parenting, we give our children the solid foundation of knowing our ever-faithful God and the unchanging promises in His Word. We are all in the process of growing up in Him so we can fulfill our destiny, be equipped to be a good parent when we are blessed with children, and serve and encourage His other children as well.
King David loved his many children but was not necessarily a great father. However, David is commended as Israel’s best king because he had a heart committed to God. Here is the advice he gave to his son, Solomon, the one God had chosen as David’s heir to the kingship:
And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.
(1 Chronicles 28:9-10)
In the lineage of David, the kings who loved God and pleased Him by their actions were the ones that brought blessings on their nation.