THE HEAVENLY FATHER AS THE MODEL FOR EARTHLY DADS
By: Frank Tunstall, D. Min.
The goal of this study is to choose four of the Jehovah names of God and present them as models for earthly dads. No father can do perfectly what these Jehovah names of God calls for, but dads can love the Lord and their family to the point the intentions of their hearts are perfect before God.
- PROVIDER – JEHOVAH JIREH – “The Lord will provide a sacrifice” (Genesis 22:14).
God told Abraham to take his only son, Isaac, to a mountain where God would show him, and offer his son there as a burnt offering. Abraham obeyed and took Isaac to a site known today as Mt. Moriah. On the way up the mountain Isaac said to his dad, “the fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham replied to the lad, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8).
When Abraham drew back the knife to slay his son, “the angel of the Lord called to Abraham, “Do not lay a hand on the boy… Now I know you fear God because you have not withheld your son from me, your only son.” Abraham discovered a ram caught in a thicket and made it the sacrifice to God. Abraham also named the place Jehovah Jireh, meaning the Lord (Jehovah, the I AM) will provide.
A primary responsibility of a father is to be a provider for his wife and children.
- HEALTH – JEHOVAH RAPHA – The Lord, the I AM is our Healer (Exodus 15:26).
Moses had just led the Israelites across the Red Sea on dry ground. It was one of the greatest miracles of the Old Testament. When the Egyptian military tried to do it, they all drowned; Pharoah lost his entire army. One can only begin to imagine the celebration of the Israelites. Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, is one example. She picked up a tambourine and the Israelite women followed her. Miriam led the singing:
“Sing to the Lord for He is highly exalted.
The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea (Exodus 15:19-21).
After the celebration ended, “Moses led Israel from the Red Sea into the Desert of Shur. For three days they walked until their water ran out. The people began to grumble against Moses saying, “What do we drink?” Moses cried to the Lord and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it in the water and it became sweet. There the Lord made a decree…. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right is His eyes… I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you.”
The Lord, Jehovah Rapha (the I AM) is our healer.
Dad’s are responsible to do all they can to keep their children in good health, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
- PROTECTOR/DEFENDER – Jehovah Nissi, The Lord (the I AM) is our Banner – Exodus 17:15
Israel’s first military confrontation of the exodus came when the Amalekites attacked Israel at Rephidim. Moses ordered Joshua to lead Israel’s fighting men into the battle while Moses stood on the top of the hill with the staff of God in his hands. “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but when he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired they took a stone and put it under Moses, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands. The battle lasted until sunset, and Israel prevailed. “Moses built an altar and called it, ‘The Lord [Jehovah Nissi] is my Banner.’” Moses said they won the battle because hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord” (Exodus 17:8-15).
Dads must fight many ‘battles’ protecting and defending their children until they are mature adults. And the best sword of all is the hands they lift up to the throne of God in prayer.
PROTECTOR AND DEFENDER – Jehovah Nissi, The Lord (the I AM) is our banner.
- PEACE: Jehovah Shalom (Judges 6:24) “The Lord is our Peace.”
Gideon is one of the great personalities of the Old Testament. When the angel of the Lord revealed Himself to Gideon, he believed the message of the angel and acted on it. This revelation of an angel was probably a theophany, an Old Testament manifestation of Israel’s Messiah, Jesus Christ. For seven long years Israel had been under the thumb of the pagan nations in the Middle East that engulfed Israel. Peace was nothing more than a dream.
Moses had set the nation in order, but in Gideon’s day Israel knew no peace because the people had surrendered their God-given order. Starvation was the new norm when the people of Israel made the decision to cry out to God in repentance. Gideon went to work forming an army. But God allowed Gideon to have only 300 soldiers against “Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples” who numbered in the thousands. Their weapons of war included trumpets, torches, and jars that covered the torches. At the middle watch of the night, Gideon and his men took their positions and Gideon and each man blew his trumpet. Then they broke their jars that covered their torches. The 300 men also shouted, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” The enemy went into panic mode and turned on each other, giving Gideon a great victory.
Gideon was the man of faith in God who gave the people of Israel their order back. Gideon built an altar to the Lord and named it, “The Lord in our peace” (Judges 6:24).
Dads carry the first line of responsibility for order in the home. When there is order, there will be peace. If a dad does not fulfill this role, the peace in the home will be greatly diminished.