Links Daily Devotional

A Father’s Love

When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for [his children] to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. (Job 1:5, NIV)

Like many, the game came to me through my father. Weekdays I played with my buddies, but Sunday afternoons were especially set aside for family games, with my dad and with friends and their dads, too. I’m glad for the memories and glad that my dad is still here to enjoy the game with me.

Fathers are an integral part of biblical households as well—and where these fathers are men of God, we can turn to them with an eye for learning.

Job was one of these men. In the opening verses of the ancient book that bears his name, we find that Job was both “blameless and upright, fearing God and shunning evil” and that he would offer burnt offerings on behalf of his children in a compensatory act for their possible sins.

This, friends, is love. This is a righteous man taking the spiritual lead of his household (which included the houses of his grown sons).

Sure, there are things to consider.

For one, our progressive culture tends to think disdainfully of “patriarchy.” Okay. Patriarchy—and here we mean households led by fathers—dispensed sinfully is commandeering and prideful, even merciless. Like many neutral things, it is ruined by sin and made to look wicked in and of itself. But patriarchy righteously recognizes the worth and needs of children and grandchildren. It displays itself in mercy and prayer and grace.

For another, we often sell fathers short in favor of prayerful mothers. It is not just a truism that many believing mothers and grandmothers are faithful in prayer; it is wholly true. And it is beautiful. Don’t stop, ladies! But the exercise of spiritual love is not a role reserved for the leading women in a family. It must also be taken up by the men.

The love of fathers must be an engaged love. It must arise in the morning and carry the children and grandchildren to the Lord. This love is prayerful, sacrificial, forgiving, and kind. We see this in Job. We see it in the father of the prodigal. Do we see it in us?

Jeff Hopper
July 6, 2015
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