“Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” – Proverbs 17:6
God’s design from the beginning for the blessing and provision of man, is the family. That is why it is so sad that the devil has effectively undermined the family in our society today. Frankly, I am amazed that more people are not alarmed by the obvious correlation between the decline of traditional families and the increase of a dysfunctional society. Instead society seems to go out of its way to encourage that which challenges the home.
As we see from the verse above, God meant for children and grandchildren to be the rewarding crown of old men. However, as families become more fragmented, old men today tend to take more pride in their achievements on the job, or in material things such as cars, houses, gardens, fishing boats or in hobbies rather than in their children. To be honest, many fathers see disappointment and frustration or just have a hard time understanding their children and perhaps even more the grandchildren. Perhaps it is because they put more of their life in their job or their hobby than they did in their child?
It is not my intention for this to be a negative essay but I feel the need to remind us as fathers that investing in the lives of your children, grandchildren and in your family as a whole is infinitely wiser than devoting your energies in things that will disintegrate soon after you’re gone. Dad, your greatest legacy and the most lasting contribution you can make to this world is your children! The Apostle John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” Children learn first and foremost from our example. You must be committed to walking in the truth of God if you hope to have the joy of seeing your child live consistent with God’s truth.
Notice also the end of the verse, “the glory of children are their fathers”. If you are a father with children still in the home, let me remind you that if you want to rejoice in your grandchildren some day you need to be the type of dad your children can glory in today. Be a man they can look up to and find the leadership and example they need to guide them through this changing world. Be a man they can trust, who is loyal and faithful to the home. Be a man they can confide in and know that they’ll always find love and respect. Children want to glory in their father; his wisdom, his strength, his guiding example, his faithful dependability. Christian Dad, you can be that kind of father as you look to your Heavenly Father and glory in Him.
“And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?” – Genesis 50:19
Joseph’s father had died and his brothers were afraid that maybe Joseph has only been biding his time until their father died and now he will reap vengeance upon his brothers who had sold him into slavery. Joseph answers them with this question, “Am I in the place of God?” Joseph knew that vengeance belonged to God; it was up to God to settle the score not his. Had Joseph taken vengeance into his own had he would be taking God’s place.
I want to consider this question, “Am I in the place of God?” Do I ever try to take on something that only God can rightly handle? Maybe some of you have attempted to step into God’s place, not as a conscious thing but many times unintentionally. Let me suggest a couple of ways people often do this.
First, many Christians assume the place of God by leaning on their own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding”. Verse 7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” Man’s wisdom is often flawed by evil influences and carnal motives. We need God’s wisdom to navigate life successfully. Seek the Lord and His wisdom revealed to us in the Bible.
Another way we take on the role of God is by worrying about tomorrow. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” (Matthew 6:34) Worry does not change anything except you. Someone once said, “Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat...worry is wasting today's time to clutter up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles.” Cast your cares upon the Lord; He is equipped to handle them!
We can also take the place of God when we try to change other people. Listen to what Paul said in (II Timothy 2:25) “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” We do influence others but only God can truly change them.
Tragically, many want to assume God’s place in there eternal salvation. Going to heaven is not something you can work out for yourself, you must come to Jesus Christ by faith to be saved.
Putting yourself in the place of God in any one of these areas will only lead to frustration and loss. Put God in His rightful place and experience His joy.