Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 17 Jul 2016
(Also the engagement of Andre Engelbrecht and Andrea Stegen)
“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
An engagement is something God has brought about. When we were still in the world, we celebrated engagements by having a party and it was done in the way of the world. When we met the Lord, we searched in the Bible to see what the Lord tells us about engagement. We realized that engagement is not to be taken lightly; it is serious.
In Biblical times, if an engaged girl is found flirting with another boy or the boy with another girl, they had to be stoned. I want all the young people to listen carefully. If the girl didn’t shout out for help, they were both stoned. We live in an evil time and if young people flirt around, they show they are children of the devil. It is a curse and not a blessing. But if you repented from that kind of life, let your life now be holy.
The text for today is about Abraham. God calls him the father of believers. Everyone who is a believer is a child of Abraham. We’ve read that God said of Abraham, “I have known him so that he will command his children and his household to keep the way of the Lord.” It’s a father’s responsibility to teach his children to keep God’s ways. I don’t exclude the mother but in the first place the blood of the child is on the father’s hands. A child likes to be like the father and so the father has to set a good example. Woe to the father if he doesn’t teach the child to keep God’s ways. Fathers who drink and live in immorality are not setting a good example. A father can instruct his child, while the child disregard the instruction, because the father doesn’t live that way. You need to teach your child to live in a right way. You can admonish your child in the wrong way and the child gets annoyed but blessed is the father whose children want to take after him. The streets of hell will be paved with the heads of fathers who say, ”Go to church”, but they don’t go themselves and get up to all kinds of wrong things. Then you are in fact teaching your child to go the devil’s way.
God says that He knew Abraham. In Hebrew it has a deep meaning, that He had an intimate relationship with Abraham. Some fathers instruct their children and the children laugh and take no notice of what he says. Abraham had authority. He spoke to his child and the child did what he said. Why, because God knew him. Abraham had the closest relationship with God. If sin came in, he confessed it and there was nothing between them. He had Godly authority so that he could instruct his family and his servants.
Engagement is where God brings two people together that culminates in the marriage. If it is not that way, it brings a curse. Fathers, teach your sons and daughters the Biblical way. If they get engaged, God must be in that engagement. Abraham had a son, Isaac who was 40 years old. He called his servant and instructed him how and where to get a wife for his son. He instructed him to find a woman from his own people. It causes trouble if you get married to an unbeliever or someone who serves other idols or gods. If you are a child of revival, and you get married to a person who hasn’t experienced revival, you bring hell into your life. Samson took a wife from among the unbelievers and that was his end. Solomon took other wives to build alliances to bring peace but in the end it had the opposite effect.
Abraham instructed his household and even his servants walked with God. When Abraham’s servant didn’t know which girl to choose as wife for his master’s son, he could pray that God would lead him to the right one.
God chose Abraham because he knew he would teach his children and his children’s children to keep His commandments.
Do you teach your household like Abraham did? Woe to you if you don’t do it. It is written that they will come from the East and West and sit at the tables in heaven with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matt 8:11). May we also be able to sit at those tables. If we want to sit at those tables, then we have to be men like them. Remember God will visit your sins on your children and children’s children unless you repent and are serious about it. Blessed is the one that hears and does it.