Friday, 26 September 2014

Parents of Faith

     The eleventh chapter of Hebrews has been described in a variety of ways – the great chapter of faith, the hall of faith, faith’s hall of fame, triumphs of faith, faith in action, great examples of faith, heroes and heroines of faith – to name a few. While the chapter does focus on prominent individuals of faith, it also exemplifies parents of faith.
     Why did Noah painstakingly construct an enormous ark? Was it only because God told him to? Was it simply a matter of self-preservation? The text says, “… for the saving of his household” (v. 7). Although Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), his primary mission field was his own family. Were it not for his uncompromising dedication to the Lord, his godly character, and his spiritual example and leadership, there would likely have been fewer than eight souls saved from the flood.
     Also listed are Abraham and Sarah (vv. 8-12), whose steadfast faith resulted in their son, grandson, great-grandsons, and other descendants being named in faith’s hall of fame as well (vv. 9, 17-22). Specific mention is made of Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac, an allusion to Genesis 22:1-19. Young Isaac was obviously familiar with worship to God, having observed his father worship and having participated himself to the point that he noticed when something seemed amiss (Genesis 22:5-8). Apparently learning about and engaging in worship is an important part of faith development in the children of God’s people.
     Further, in Hebrews 11 we read about the parents of Moses (v. 23). Amram and Jochebed conscientiously defied the immoral decree of Pharoah in order to save their son, then had the opportunity to instill in him awareness of his spiritual heritage before he was transitioned into the despot’s household. This godly mother and father may have lost their son for a time, but the seeds of faith implanted in his heart at an impressionable age eventually took root to produce a great man of God.
     For those of us who have children, are we to be included among the parents of faith? Like Noah and his wife, are we tenaciously committed to the spiritual security of our family? Like Abraham and Sarah, are we training, being examples to, and including our children in worship to God? Like Amram and Jochebed, are we sowing the seeds of faith in our kids, so if tragically they fall into the devil’s grasp later in life, there is always hope that the implanted seed will take root and bring them back to the Lord?
     Whatever our circumstance in life – husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandparents, singles – let us be determined, with God’s help, to be people of rock-solid and contagious faith. A faith worth having is a faith worth sharing.
--Kevin L. Moore

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