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Abraham’s story carries lessons for our men

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Paternal role: fathers will be celebrated this weekend

​​In society today, men face battles seen and unseen daily. With their world’s weight on their shoulders, they are often met with expectations and criticism over support, guidance and praise.

Many families are taking the time to celebrate, thank, and honour the fathers and father figures in their lives this Father's Day weekend.

Being consistent with my article submission for Mother’s Day weekend, I thought it would be fitting to use the opportunity to encourage the men of my island home with a devotional thought.

Being a woman, I could never intimately know the load you carry. However, I hope to share three lessons I learnt from my studies of the historical account of Abraham and pray they resonate with men of all ages and their varied stages of influence in their lives.

The historical account of Abraham is found in the Book of Genesis, chapters 12 through 25. In these pages, Abraham's experience can reveal many aspects of God’s character and lessons from which we may glean.

One lesson or theme that stood out to me was that our decisions impact those in our sphere of influence and generations to come.

Abraham followed the call from God to move from his homeland to travel with his family to a land unknown. Among those family members is his nephew Lot (Genesis 12).

He withheld the true nature of his marital status with his wife Sarah twice when entering territories ruled by those who did not fear God (Genesis 12:10-20, Genesis 20: 2-18).

He allowed himself to be influenced by Sarah’s decision to have a child with her female servant (Genesis 16) and many more examples. Each decision came with immediate and long-lasting positive and negative consequences for himself, his immediate family, the strangers he encountered, allies, nations and generations.

These effects are being played out on worldly stages to this day. Genesis 20:5-6 says, “Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.”

“Then God said to him in the dream, ‘Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.’”

This verse stood out to me concerning this theme because it speaks to making decisions from the “integrity of heart and innocence of hands”.

Another lesson or theme of Abraham’s experience is the value of intercession in the lives of loved ones and the wisdom to know when to proceed with action or prayer.

God blessed Abraham and his nephew Lot with wealth, and it got to a point where they could not keep their livestock, families, and workers on the same property. They went their separate ways (Genesis 13).

Afterwards, Lot and those in his care needed saving on two different occasions. On the first occasion, Abraham took 318 of his trained men and physically saved Lot, his family, and possessions from the captivity of their enemies (Genesis 14).

On the second occasion, Abraham, in conversation with God, pleaded for mercy and the preservation of any righteous man in the eyes of God. Knowing Lot and his family were in danger, Abraham interceded in a conversation with God on Lot's behalf (Genesis 18:22-33, Genesis 19).

On both occasions, Abraham relied on God for the outcome; one required his physical action, and one required him to know when to let go and let God in.

Lot’s decisions of where to live and raise his family put him close to danger, and Abraham had to seek God’s wisdom in interceding.

Likewise, God has given us all the power of choice, and many times, when we lean on our wisdom and understanding, we may find ourselves close to danger in various forms.

When we see our loved ones in these spaces, may we seek God’s wisdom in interceding with action or prayer, knowing that our intercession can make a significant difference in their lives.

The final lesson is to believe God’s Word in our lives. It is found in the iconic account of Abraham and the sacrifice of his son Issac. Genesis 22:5 states: “Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.’”

This verse blew my mind. Before Abraham heads up the mountain with Issac, he tells the young men that he will be back with Issac.

Fully prepared to sacrifice Issac at the instruction of God while still believing God’s Word that a mighty nation will come from him through his son Issac.

Not knowing how God would fulfil his promises with a request like this, Abraham believed that God could and would. Thus, he speaks in faith that both he and Issac will return.

He took God at his word and believed God’s word in his life. It is said of Abraham in Genesis 15:6: “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”

Abraham was a far from perfect man. He didn’t always lean on God’s wisdom. In his life, he mishandled the truth and trusted others' counsel over God's word.

He left father wounds in the life of his firstborn son Ishmael and more. Despite his shortcomings, he genuinely believed in God’s word and promises.

He allowed God to grow and perfect his faith, correct him when he erred, and provide for himself and his family.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He asks us to trust Him as he refines our character and influence on those in our care. We can learn the lessons from the men before us to apply the wisdom gained to our experience.

God’s word over each and every one of the men on this island is that you are loved (John 3:16), chosen (Ephesians 1:11-23), and valued (Romans 5:8).

God has a plan for your life. This plan is filled with hope and purpose (Jeremiah 29: 11).

I pray the lessons from Abraham resonate with you, beautiful men of Bermuda, as you continue to love and lead your families, which make up our island community.


Weighty responsibilities: we can learn much from Abraham’s experiences, as documented in the Bible (Image courtesy Jose Weslley/Pixabay)

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Published June 15, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated June 18, 2024 at 8:17 am)

Abraham’s story carries lessons for our men

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