–We have been in Israel for more than 30 years now, and I have to admit that when we came, I did not expect to be a grandfather – I wasn’t even a father then! That changed 26 years ago, when our first daughter was born.
–Before coming to faith I thought about the significance of the beginning of a new year. What is important to us as Jews and new years in general? Someone is watching over us . . . and preserving us. (Ps 121:4) Another year of life. I thank God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ that He is the Watcher over Israel, the Preserver of our souls!
–Great joy for us that A, a new soul, has come into our life through R and J, and that God is with them, that their house is under the grace of the New Covenant. I did not grow up in such a household, but I thank the Lord for His hand upon us and them. Today J and R want to dedicate A to God in Yeshua’s name as a token of their faith in Him and in His covenant. (Ex 13:2; 1Cor 7:14)
–I want to share some thoughts which I had during Randi’s first birth, including the birth pains and the birth process, as well as the expectation of parenthood:
Ps 139:13-17 Fearfully, wonderfully made; from almost nothing to a living person; creation of God; true miracle. Bones, mind, brain, senses, eyes, speech: Something only the living God could do! When I saw the head of the child (not knowing yet who “it” was), it was just a joy to realize the manner of our coming into the world, that God designed this way to do this! Truly, as it is written, nothing clean can be born of a woman! (Lev 12; Ps 51:5 [7 Heb]) And yet how lovely and wonderful!
Rom 8:16-25 All creation experiencing labor pains. Can’t we feel them now? Jesus tells us that the last days leading up to His coming back will be like that. Some of us prepare in advance for the birth of our babies and for the post-birth period. Are we preparing ourselves for the process coming upon the world until such time as the Lord takes us? Are we placing our faith and obedience and trust in God to see us through the birth as well as to enable us to be of help to others? While with Randi during the birth, I was impressed with the controlled yet increasingly difficult contractions. I knew that God had designed this way and was encouraged that He was in control. It may vary for each woman and each birth. We need to help one another believe in our hearts that the Lord will guide us through. (1Tim 2:15)
Gen 3:16,20 Pain and sorrow in childbirth for the mother, out of which springs forth life! Life from the dead; bread from the earth. And her name is Eve, because she is the mother of all the living. Christ and the Church! Grace, blessing, joy!
Gen 5:3 Children are born in image of their parents – physically, emotionally, spiritually. All are born in separation from God due to inherited sin. A is a little sinner who needs a Savior! She needs to know Jesus Christ as her own Savior and Lord. R and J are entrusted with responsibility to train up A in such a way as to lead her to Messiah. Only in Him will she be restored to the image of God in the likeness of His holy and righteous character by the power and life of the blood and the Spirit and the Word of God in her life. Just as God gave His Torah (instruction, laws, rules) to teach Israel of their sinful nature and consequences so that they might know their need of God’s mercy and grace in His love, so I think we have an example in this to instruct our children that they will not only recognize their need of God’s salvation, but also to want it – to want Him, who is a much better parent than we can ever hope to be. R and J gave their daughter the name A – ‘my Father is YAH’; God gave His Son the name Yeshua (Jesus), because He will save His people from their sins.
Our heavenly Father is our pattern, yet they also need His grace to raise A. He forgives our sins as parents when we do not do or can not do all that His Word requires. Yet they want A to honor them – for her own benefit as well as theirs – so they must trust the Lord to help them be worthy of her honor. Our Father in Heaven is the perfect Father, and sadly most do not yet know Him as their Father, rejecting Him and His love. This relieves us as mothers and fathers of a great burden and of any overwhelming guilt, and we can rest in His love and grace as we seek to know and to do His will.
Gen 18:19 Command children in the way of YHVH. What is the way of YHVH? Each child is different and we must consider them individually accordingly.
Jesus says that He is the Way: to the Father, to the Kingdom of God, to salvation and eternal life. What is His way? The way of the cross; of dying unto death; of willing, whole-hearted obedience and trust in His Father in Heaven; of love, sacrificing Himself for sinners and enemies to deliver us out of an evil world into that which is really life. He humbled Himself in service in His holy love, for the cross is God’s judgment upon sin and its works. Jesus humbled Himself and God has exalted Him. He is risen from the dead and awaits His return to sit on His throne to bring peace to Earth through righteousness!
2Pet 3:9-15 Knowing that the day is near, then how do we want to prepare ourselves and our children. Nothing is better for J and R and for A but that the Lord Jesus will return. Satan is the god of this world until the Lord is here. What can be worse than the devil ruling?! What could possibly be better than Jesus ruling?! No matter what our current blessings or troubles, whether in our personal lives or in society or in the nation or anywhere in the world, the day is near when the Kingdom of God will destroy all the kingdoms of this world and the fruit of them. We pray that we will be ready for His appearing.
We ask today for prayer for J and R that God give them the wisdom to train up A in His way, and that she know that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!