WHAT DOES DAD WANT?
Father’s Day is coming up. Are you stressing about what to get your Dad or the father of your children? Have you been watching him to see what he is searching online? Has he mentioned a book or electronic gadget he’d like to get? Have you rushed out to buy it, hoping he doesn’t buy it for himself before Father’s Day? Did you ask what he wants only to be told, “Just a day with my family” and plotted how to make that day great?
What about our Heavenly Father? If you could give Him a Father’s Day gift, what would that be? What would He ask for this Father’s Day?
God created everything. Therefore, God owns it all. So, what does He want from me? Silver and gold? Huge Holy Day offerings? Every spare moment of my day?
God does give us plenty of guidance as to what He wants in return for letting us live on and gain our living and life from, His “footstool”.
Let’s start with the scripture that inspired that comment: Isaiah 66:1-2 [ESV] Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Humble. Contrite in spirit. Trembles at His word. This is what God wants.
The Hebrew word translated “humble” is also often translated “poor” and is used for actually being out of money and physically poor, as well as being humble. Where else does God say He expects poverty of spirit?
Matthew 5:3 [KJV] Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
What does the Father who has everything want? First of all, He wants me to give Him the gift of realizing that without Him, I have nothing.
The Hebrew word translated “contrite” here is used three times in the Old Testament. Twice it is translated “lame” – referring to people who could not walk.
What does the Father who has everything want? Secondly, He wants me to know that without Him, I am broken. I don’t work right, cannot walk, and am not useful. And He wants me to broken of my own will to follow His – the same way that a cowboy “breaks” a horse so that it can be useful to him. Ultimately, a cowboy and his horse move and work as if they are one entity.
The Father wants that kind of “broken” from me. He doesn’t hate that.
Psalm 51:17 [KJV] The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Finally, He wants me to show some serious respect for His word – the Bible. Clearly, He is wanting something more from me than just a superficial feeling that there might be some good stuff in there. He expects me to have some “awe” for the word – because the rules for a good life now and an eternal life later are all written down. All the basics for guiding my life are in there and so are amazing insights into human nature. Within His word are the secrets to a happy marriage and a successful career.
I like it when speakers give practical examples and step-by-step instructions and illustrative parables when they try to teach me something. The Bible has all of those things. The word predicted the coming of the Messiah in great detail and does the same for His second coming. It should command my deep respect.
Have you ever received a gift that was shockingly inappropriate for you? One so “off” that you wanted to say, “Is this a mistake?” or “Do you even know who I am?” The Bible records that this happened to God more than once.
Genesis 4:3-7 [ESV] In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it."
It is bad enough to get a gift that is not a good fit for you, but to actually tell someone what you want and then have them offer you something dishearteningly different? That is really bad.
The sons of Aaron offered strange (or unauthorized) fire as part of their temple duties and they lost their lives over it. Leviticus 10:1-2 [ESV] Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.
You and I may have to graciously accept any crazy gift that is given to us. But there is too much at risk for God to let that pass. God gave clear, specific and detailed instructions for the Levitical service and the rituals of sacrifice. He will not smile and say “thank you” when we offer an inappropriate gift.
What do you give the Father who has it all? Humility, brokenness and respect. I’m going to wrap that up with a big ribbon, tie it in a nice bow and present it the Father every day of my life.
Happy Father’s day, Abba!
P.S. There are plenty of other scriptures in the Bible that speak to what God wants. Here is another one I love: Micah 6:8 [NIV] He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Why not share some of your favorites with me?
I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.