Genesis 18: A Father’s Missions

“For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” (Genesis 18:19)

Abraham was a man with a mission-- he just didn’t fully understand how big of a mission is would be. It was a mission that would carry on for generations. From him would come a great people, a great nation, and eventually, a great Savior. He literally had no clue how important he, his role and his faithfulness would be for all of mankind. But, God did. He gave a “purpose statement” of Abraham’s life: he was known by God to guide his family to serve God and “to do righteousness and justice.”

If you think about it, fathers today have a somewhat similar charge. Theirs’s isn’t quite so grand-- each father’s actions won’t impact the whole world, but they will impact the lives of their children or their children’s children for years to come. Therefore, the purpose statement God had for Abraham is a good one for fathers to consider today.

Fathers are to know the Lord. Actually, the statement is that LORD knew Abraham, but this knowing was a two-way street. God knew Abraham, and Abraham knew the LORD. This really is the foundational necessity for fathers with lasting legacies-- they must know God. This is more than being aware of certain information about God; it is delving head-first into a relationship with the Creator. It is structuring life around Him and His will, submitting personal desires to His interest and committing oneself wholly to His pleasures. It is loving the Lord “with all your heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:37). Without such dedication, dads, any successes we seem to have will only be fleeting, and not eternal.

Father are to command their families. Fathers who are so dedicated to the LORD will naturally want to see such dedication passed on to their children. They will not only live that dedication, they will encourage their families to live that way as well. They will teach, they will model, they will instruct. Passages like Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and Ephesians 5:22-6:4 will be on their minds regularly. As a result, they will lead their wife and children not only in devotion to the LORD, but also in proper behavior to their fellow man-- “righteousness and justice.” They will lead their families and not be afraid to make difficult decisions with love and goodwill toward all.

In doing so, fathers bring God’s blessings on themselves and those they love. They can die in peace knowing they have done what they could to secure a good future for those who follow after them.

Such was the legacy of Abraham. Such should be the legacy of every father.

Let’s apply this to our lives.