“And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5).
What a beautiful picture of a man in whose heart the fear of God lives! Job feared lest his children sin against God or forsake Him in their hearts. He was so deeply conscious of the weakness of human nature that, even when he did not know of any particular sin in their lives, the very thought of their having been in circumstances of temptation made him afraid. He so fully realized his position and privilege as parent that he took upon himself the continual offering of the needed sacrifice.
The book of Job might have been complete without this illustration, as far as the record of Job’s patience and faith is concerned, but we would have missed the much needed lesson that a parent’s consecration to God includes the home life, too. Let us study the lesson his example teaches.
A deep fear of overlooking sin in himself or his children is one of the marks of a wise Christian.
How superficial our views of sin often are! And how easily we are satisfied! Under the appearance of what is good and loving, sin may be hidden. Our children may be growing up renouncing God in their hearts! Let parents ask God to give them a right sense of what sin is in their children – its curse, its dishonour to God, its power.
Every thoughtful parent knows there are times and places when their child may be more influenced to yield to temptation. A praying parent should do what Job did when he sent for his sons; he prayed for them.
Intercessory prayer is a secret of parental power and blessing. Parents need to pray earnestly that God will enlighten their hearts to prevail in prayer for their children. In our family life, the first consideration should not be our personal happiness or the care of providing all the daily needs, but the yielding of ourselves, as ministers of His grace, to God’s eternal purpose: the deliverance of our children from sin. And our family life shall evermore be lighted up with God’s own presence and with the joy of the heavenly home.
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