Devotional thought – I was reading this morning from Ezekiel 22:23-31, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one,” (verse 30). This is a sobering statement. The religious establishment is at fault. The political system is corrupt. The citizens of the land are lawless. The truly poor and needy are neglected. It is an indictment against Israel in this context, but sounds like it was written for the United States.
In the past week three situations have been brought to my attention which every Christian parent should be deeply concerned about. First, Home Depot has for several years, given its financial and corporate support to open displays of homosexual activism on main streets in America’s towns. And, it says it will continue to do so! Stephen Holmes, company spokesman, said concerning Home Depot’s involvement in the gay agenda, “At the end of the day here, we’re not going to…forbid our associates to be involved in these pride festivals in any way.” Second, Sears is in the pornography business. You won’t believe what Sears is selling. If your child should for some reason go to the Sears web site and type in the word “posters”, among the thousands offered will be hundreds which are graphic nudity including homosexual behavior. Third, this past Wednesday, a federal judge overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker made his ruling in a lawsuit filed by two gay couples who claimed the voter-approved ban (Prop. 8) violated their civil rights. Proposition 8, which declared that marriage should be between a man and a woman, was passed by the voters in California with a 52% majority. The judge said, “Prop. 8 failed to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.” Both sides of the issue had predetermined that however the judge ruled, the losing side would appeal his verdict to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – and, in time, most likely to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Our nation resembles the godless culture in Ezekiel’s day. It appears our nation’s values have become valueless. It appears our morality has evolved into blatant immorality. It appears our sense of holiness has dissolved into an acceptance of the common and base. It appears our search for significance has ended at the altar of self-worship. It appears our once deep regard for human life has evaporated into the heathen practice of sacrificing babies to accommodate the choice of execution by the mother. It appears we have embraced a style of worship in many of our churches where the proclaimers have become performers and the members have become groupies. It appears we have lowered the standards in every area of human life that life itself has become so cheap it is put on the auction block to the highest bidder and lowest judge. God had a word for Samaria and Jerusalem in Ezekiel 23: 35. He said, “Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, therefore you shall bear the penalty of your lewdness and your harlotry.” In other words, “Get ready for the day of judgment.” Few want to hear it and even fewer believe it. However, as it was said by Moses to the children of Israel it needs to be spoken again from the pulpits in our land, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” Numbers 32:23.
Parents, there has never been a time when the teachings of God’s word is more important to your children than now. Appearances can be deceiving. Contrary to what we see transpiring across our nation with our physical eyes we need to turn our spiritual eyes to the only One who can restore and rebuild the foundations. Restoration begins with confession and ends with action. Your children must see in you the very attributes of our Father in heaven. No one can better instruct children in the ways of the Lord than a godly father and mother. As in the days of Ezekiel so it is in our days. The way to invade our culture with values, morality, holiness, significance, and true worship is to realize that God is still looking for a man and a family.
As you know this Sunday is designated nationally as, “Father’s Day”. I have been thinking about what makes a fabulous father. So many fathers and fathers-to-be who have been in the headlines recently certainly would qualify as anything but fabulous. Is it wealth? Is it education? Is it position? Is it power? What truly puts the 21st century father in the category of “Fabulous”? Job 1: 1 states about a father named Job, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job and that man was blameless, upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” Job had four characteristics which put him in the Fabulous List.
First, he was blameless. Proverbs 13:6 tells us, “Righteousness keeps him whose way is blameless, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.” Job was a man of integrity. He guarded his actions, his answers, and his accountability. Second, he was upright. Proverbs 20:7 reminds us, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” He was a father of impeccable character and godly conduct. Third, he feared God. Joshua told the adults of Israel, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel,” Joshua 24:23. Job did this by seeking to experience God, by leaning toward His commandments, by standing in awe of His greatness, and by realizing what it meant to be part of the family of God. Fourth, he shunned evil. Six words remind us as 21st century fathers how to do this, “Abstain from every form of evil,” I Thessalonians 5:22. Just like Job, we must realize the challenge of evil. We must recognize the character of evil. We must regard the consequences of evil.
Dads, your children and mine are living a generation which often substitutes lies for truth, compromise for conviction, and expediency for honor. They have learned from national political leaders, sport figures, celebrities and sad to say religious leaders how to lie, prevaricate, rationalize, fabricate and equivocate while at the same time blaming someone else for their actions. Lying leads to cover-up. Cover-up leads to addiction. Addiction leads to self-defense. Self-defense leads to rationalization. Rationalization leads to a life style of ungodly behavior. Today tolerance for sin is our national motto and political correctness is our mantra. On this Sunday as fathers are recognized throughout our nation may it be said of each of us that by the grace of God and with Christian commitment we will seek to belong to that elite group known as Fabulous Fathers. The next generation depends on it.