Nehemiah 4:9 – …we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection…day and night.
A recent news story calls a young man in France the “Backpack Hero”. Several women were watching their children play in a park when a crazy man started stabbing people with a knife, stabbing four young kids and two adults.
There were other men around the scene, several were hiding, one was filming, most of them were doing absolutely nothing to stop the attacker, that is except one man named Henri who had only a backpack. Henri loves Jesus and he said after the incident that his love of Jesus required him to get between women and children and harmful circumstances.
This is God’s heart for men, and especially for fathers. This might be a shocking statement and will certainly be controversial, but men and women are different. Men are physiologically and anatomically stronger than women, and men need to use their strength to protect. It’s important that your wife and kids not only are safe but feel safe in your presence.
While preparing for this sermon, I was reminded of a friend who invited me over to his house when I was a kid. I grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood, at the same time and place as notorious serial killers like Ted Bundy and the Green River Killer. In hindsight, I think his dad was most likely drunk in the middle of the day when I came over to play.
I remember my friend’s sister walking by her dad and as her dad raised his hand to grab another drink, she recoiled, cowering in fear. I was young but it was obvious to me at the time that he must hit her. His hand was the most dangerous place in the world for her. I left his house and never went back.
When I had daughters, I asked the Lord that my hand could be the safest place for them, that they would run to it, not from it. I even remember my youngest daughter, when she was little, would come up to me, grab my hand, and rest her head in it. My hand was the safest place for her. On the contrary, if anyone tries to harm my family, my hand becomes the most dangerous place for the person who would want to cause harm.
Especially for girls without fathers, kids are 200% more likely to be neglected or abused. For boys who grow up without fathers, by age 30, they’re 200% more likely to be in prison. You see, a father protects you from others and from yourself. If dad isn’t around, a boy likely doesn’t learn to respect authority and ends up learning this lesson the hard way with jail time.
Most kids, especially boys, are overmothered and underfathered, and the government tries to replace the father. This has become none more apparent than during the COVID “crisis” a few years ago when the government told people to go home, don’t go to work, move back in with your mom, we’ll send you money, and you should stay on social media and be triggered by fear and anger. If the individual did have a father, this never would’ve happened because he would’ve told you that you can’t move back in and you need to continue working, as God intended it. In the end, the solution our nation (and world) needs is God and secondly, more fathers, less government.
How can you protect your family, as a parent, or who/whatever God has entrusted you with?
God speaks to us through the Scriptures as a perfectly loving Father. Christians worship God, not the Bible. But the Bible informs us of who God is and how we are to live in His love as worshippers. As a result, we come to the Bible for transformation, not just for information.
We agree with Luther, “When the Scripture speaks, God speaks.” Because Scripture is God speaking to us, we memorize, meditate, study, teach, and share His truth. Everything in life and ministry is guided by the truth of Scripture. Everything good is a result of the truth of biblical revelation being used by God the Holy Spirit to change our character to be more like Christ.
Sooner or later we all have to settle what we think about the Bible. We shouldn’t make that decision based on hearsay or speculation, but on what the Bible actually is, what it says, and does. Other people can’t determine our opinion. We each must make a decision. Scholar and friend Wayne Grudem has spent his life studying and teaching the Bible, and watching people wake up to what the Bible is all about. He describes how that happens in an interview I conducted:
“Hundreds of millions of people throughout history have begun to read the Bible with an open mind and then said, ‘Wow, this book speaks to my heart like no other book I have ever read. This is unlike any other book. These are the very words of God.’” The Bible itself claims to be God’s words in written form. And that is our starting point. “Am I going to believe that claim?” Grudem asks. “I think the only way for people to evaluate that is to give some serious time to reading the Bible and studying it and seeing if it rings true as being the word of God. Do I hear the voice of my Creator speaking in it when I read it?” [ENDNOTE #1]
When the Bible says that the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers [FOOTNOTE: 2 Cor. 4:4], it means that they really can’t see what we see. We might nag them. We might talk down to them. We might holler at them. But that’s like yelling at a colorblind guy about what’s on a painting. Yelling will not make him see. The ability to see the truth of the Bible is not an intelligence issue. It’s a condition issue. We should bring the same compassion and respect we would show anyone who is physically blind. If you know someone who is spiritually blind, buy them a nice Bible. Put the person’s name on it and give it to them like Grace did for me. Then pray that the Holy Spirit opens their understanding as they read it. Why? Because we need God to get involved in this. It takes a miracle as big as Jesus healing a blind guy. The good news? He still heals the blind.
- Driscoll, M (2019). Christians Might Be Crazy: Answering the Top 7 Objections to Christianity. Dunham & Company, 153]