Why did God record his reasons for choosing Abraham?
For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him”,
- Genesis 18:19
I confess that there was a time when I wanted the above passage to say that God chose Abraham because he knew Abraham was a man who would teach his family His ways.
That, of course, would have been a view based on Abraham’s merit. That is not what Genesis 18:19 says. You can read it again like I did to see that God chose Abram “so that” he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord rather than “because of” anything Abraham had been doing.
In other words, God had a plan for Abraham as the father of the future nation of Israel and that plan was that he would deliberately lead his family in the way of righteousness.
Has anything changed regarding God’s intentions for fathers?
- Exodus 20:12 teaches that children are to honor their parents. Question….. “Who is going to teach them to do that if not the parents, and especially the fathers?”
- Deuteronomy 6:1-9 teaches us to continually teach the word of God to our families in our homes.
- 1st Samuel 3:13 serves as an admonishment to fathers to discipline their children and so prevent them from being cursed for their sin.
- Proverbs 29:15 & 17 say that a corrected son will be both a comfort to his parents and a delight to their souls (as well as their own).
- Ephesians 6:1 authorizes parents to expect obedience from their children and 6:4 instructs fathers to bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- Hebrews 12:4-11 reminds us of the peaceful fruit of righteousness that is the result of Godly fathers applying Godly discipline.
Fathers! Above are our marching orders. You can express no greater love for your children that to lovingly, gently, firmly and deliberately bring them up in the ways of God.