Fathers are important. In the grand scheme of everything God has put together, fathers are to reign as the leaders in their homes, lovers of their wives, protectors and directors of their children, and examples to their communities. God has revealed Himself to us as our Father and expects for that relationship to be reflected on earth to us and back to Him through our fathers. This is why Satan works overtime to trip up fathers. If he can accomplish that, he can wreak havoc upon society. Broken fathers cause broken families; dysfunctional families cause broken women and children; unstable children create a broken society and a messed up future.
But what happens when a father lives as he should before God? In Genesis 25 and 26, we read of the death of Abraham and the following actions of his sons, Ishmael and Isaac. First, after many years of being separated from each other by no fault of their own, his sons came together to bury their father (see Genesis 25:9). Second, Ishmael went on to prosper and father a family of twelve princes of his own (see Genesis 25:12-18). Then we read of Isaac, Abraham’s son through which God’s covenant was to be continued. Issac becomes a father of twin boys, and then he goes about living his life until God arrests his attention.
The first message of the Lord to Isaac concerned the same thing that God’s first message to Abraham concerned: where he should live. The Lord said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you…and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father” Genesis 26:2-3 (NKJ). Isaac obeyed, but as he began to prosper, the people of the land became jealous and stopped up the wells Abraham had dug. But Isaac forged ahead. “And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them… And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake” Genesis 26:18 and 24 (NKJ).
The work of a great father lives on in his children if they will but dig the wells their father dug. My brother-in-law, D.J. Nelson, passed into glory yesterday. His last words to the nurse attending him were, “Are you saved?” As we said our goodbyes in that hospital room, I looked around at his children and grandchildren, every one of which was saved and living for the Lord. D.J. had dug his wells; his work in his children’s lives was evident and will live on. As they continue to dig the same wells, witnessing to everyone with whom they come in contact, I can hear God saying to them, “I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant D.J.’s sake.”
Fathers, dig the wells God instructs you to dig. Children, follow in your holy father’s footsteps and dig the wells your fathers dug. If you didn’t have a holy earthly father like D.J., no worries; your heavenly Father has dug wells for you. Jesus says, “…the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14 (NAS). Continue God’s work. Dig the wells your father (Father) dug.