Two men walked along a crowded city sidewalk. One man said: "Listen! Do you hear that cricket?"
"Cricket? What cricket? How can you hear a cricket over the noise of the city."
The first man, a zoologist, trained himself to hear the sounds of nature. He demonstrated this to his friend by reaching into his pocket and dropping a half-dollar coin onto the sidewalk. They watched as several people began looking for the coin over the sounds of the city.
He turned to his friend and said, "See. People hear what they listen for."
Abraham was a man, husband, and father who was tuned to hearing God.
As a man I can confess that too many of our kind don't want to listen to anybody about anything… but the reality of being a "man" is that good listening, good counsel, good advice fuels life.
Genesis 22 reveals Abraham's Close Encounter with God. Abraham helps us see that men need to listen to God. This particular episode in Abraham's life shows us that fathers face great tests in life.
Here is what Fathers can learn from Abraham.
1. Dads need to know God! Verse 1 tells us that Abraham heard God's voice and responded, "Here I am!" God was foremost in Abraham's life!
2. Dads are tested! Verse 1 tells us also that God tested Abraham. Why? Because faith, if it is genuine faith, gets tested. Abraham's test indicates that those closest to the Lord may endure the most grueling tests. Funny how we enjoy "the big tests" on tv or the sports arena but we shun them like crazy in real life. Dad, you will be tested!
3. Dads must do the hard things! Verse 2 tells us what God wanted from Abraham. Bottom line, God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). In reality, God did not want Isaac's life but He absolutely wanted an undivided heart in Abraham. Dad, what is most important to you?
4. Dads must obey with immediacy! Life pushes hard. Choices are tough. Time is short. Children grow quickly. Obey God with haste so you have no regrets. Abraham did not delay when he heard from God.
5. Dads must depend upon God! Verse 8 shows us that Abraham had learned this important lesson already. Dad, you can lean hard into God… in fact, you must.
6. Dads need to know that God never fails! Verses 13-14 provide one of the greatest "names" of God… Jehovah Jireh… He is the God who provides.
So, dad, what are you listening for? Are you tuned in to God or some far more trivial voice? Dads, don't let fake motivators or even "good" things subvert what is best and most important. Go for maximum, eternal impact in the life of your children and family! Let God speak and use you in the way He wants to today. God can and will maximize your influence in your family beyond measure.