By Eric Carlson in 06_2023-1 on May 22, 2023
Father’s Day is a day set apart to honor and celebrate our Father and fatherhood in general. We recognize and honor the influence of fathers in our homes and society, and in blended family paternal bonds. It is also celebrated to honor and commemorate our fathers and forefathers. Fathers–Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the third Sunday of June. Tradition has it that Father’s Day was first observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd, a Christian woman and the daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart. Sonora’s mother died when she was age 16, and she wanted a day that would commemorate and honor fathers like her own, who had raised her and five other children.
Once she began pressing the idea of an official Father’s Day, she met opposition and even derision, but she persevered. A bill was introduced in Congress in 1913, and in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson spoke at a Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington, wanting to make it an official holiday, but Congress still resisted. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge became involved, and in 1930 a national committee was formed by various trade groups in an effort to legitimize the holiday. The battle continued, and in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson made a proclamation for the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day. Finally, it was made an official national holiday when President Nixon signed a similar proclamation in 1972.
Scripture doesn’t mention any day being set aside specifically to honor fathers, but the word does recognize a special place of honor for men who were leaders or examples of excellence in certain skills, such as Yaval, who was “the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock” and his brother Yuval, who was “the father of all who play the harp and flute”
Genesis 4:20-21. ‘Adah gave birth to Yaval; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have cattle. 21 His brother’s name was Yuval; and he was the ancestor of all who play lyre and flute.
Also, when Avram’s name was changed to Avraham, Adonai told him:
Genesis 17:5. Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations.
In the eyes of Adonai fatherhood is a place of exalted honor. This name change given by Adonai revolves around the root word abba; father! Avraham is the founding father of the unique, intimate relationship between the Jewish and Adonai; he is the spiritual patriarch of all believers! The name change signifies a change in Avraham’s divine destiny! His obedient relationship with Adonai was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham was declared righteous because of his trust, he kept on reaching out to Adonai again and again. It wasn’t that he was a perfect man, he misled others regarding Sarah and tried to bring Adonai’s plan about himself through Hagar! But Avraham was consistent in his desire for Adonai, he was faithful in his relationship with Adonai. He showed trust in God by moving to a new land and was chosen by God to be the father of God’s chosen people. Avraham kept coming back and Adonai credited it to him as righteousness and will do the same for us if we seek Adonai! The entire story of Avraham revolves around fatherhood revealing how important this position is to Adonai who recognizes the critical importance of fathers, giving them special honor throughout history.
Avraham’s name change is a kingdom promotion for his character, integrity, loyalty, and trust! He transitions from Exalted Father to Father of multitudes, Father of Israel via Adonai’s elective covenant, Father of Nations including royal dynasties, a Father of Kings! The “Father” theme of relationship is found throughout scripture, even referring to Adonai Himself! Yeshua, the Son of Adonai told us to pray like this:
Matthew 6:9. You, therefore, pray like this: `Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy.
We have many scriptural instances that speak of Yeshua, the Son, honoring His Father and honoring the will of His Father
John 17:1,5. After Yeshua had said these things, he looked up toward heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you
5 Now, Father, glorify me alongside yourself. Give me the same glory I had with you before the world existed.
The kingdom of Adonai is modeled upon a Child/Father relationship! By receiving the blood of Yeshua we become children of the Most High God, and He is our Abba, Father”
John 1:12-13. But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God
Our relationship With Adonai through Yeshua gives us a clear definition of what being a Father is! Sha’ul taught that to honor one’s earthly father is not only a commandment but the first commandment that, when obeyed, has a promise of things going well and living long on the earth As Sha’ul quotes Exodus 20:12 in:
Ephesians 6:1-3. Children, what you should do in union with the Lord is obey your parents, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” – this is the first commandment that embodies a promise – 3 “so that it may go well with you, and you may live long in the Land.
In light of these verses, and many others, it would seem to be perfectly God-honoring to celebrate a day in which fathers, the God-given spiritual head of the family, could and should be honored. Ultimately, whether or not to celebrate a specific day or holiday is a matter of personal preference. We have the freedom to celebrate and the freedom not to celebrate if we so choose.
Father = Identity. Our earthly fathers are an important source of our genetic makeup. Adonai is the ultimate source of our lives and identity, we are descended from one DNA strand, the seed of Adam.
Genesis 4:25. Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Shet [granted], “For God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel, since Kayin killed him.”
We are made in the image of our creator. God spoke the Aleph-Bet, our seed, and we were created. That see is DNA, Chromosomes. When children are conceived, the child receives one strand of helix from each parent. The language, the program of the two parents come together to form a new helix from the individual strands from the parents. If two XX strands come together the child is a girl, if one x and one y comes together it’s a boy. The only source of Y chromosomes is the male. Now get this, All other chromosomes pairs exchange genetic material, a shuffling of DNA information except for the Y chromosome. There are over approximately 2.1 million code instructions in human DNA and between us all there all identical except for several thousand. In other words, DNA confirms that there is no basis for biological race differences. The genetic variance affecting skin color, facial futures, eye and hair color are essentially meaningless. Since the Y Chromosome isn’t affected by this genetic shuffling during conception, the Y Chromosome passed down from father to son is basically the same as it was thousands of years ago.
Father = provision. Fathers find joy in giving to their children. That’s because a chief role of fatherhood is to provide. Yeshua used a fatherly example to explain the goodness of God when He said:
Matthew 7:11. So if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will your Father in heaven keep giving good things to those who keep asking him!
Father = Instruction & Correction. We are blessed to have Proverbs, compiled by a father whose heart burned to impart wisdom from above into the heart of his son:
Proverbs 1:3-9. for gaining an intelligently disciplined life, doing what is right, just and fair; 4 for endowing with caution those who don’t think and the young person with knowledge and discretion. 5 Someone who is already wise will hear and learn still more; someone who already understands will gain the ability to counsel well; 6 he will understand proverbs, obscure expressions, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of ADONAI is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8 My son, heed the discipline of your father, and do not abandon the teaching of your mother; 9 they will be a garland to grace your head, a medal of honor for your neck.
The problem is children don’t like discipline, but it fosters security knowing Mom and Dad love them enough to correct wayward behavior. Good parents mimic the kingdom fatherhood of Adonai when they correct and discipline to shape a child’s long-term character and behavior. As the word states:
Hebrews 12:5-6. Also you have forgotten the counsel which speaks with you as sons: “My son, don’t despise the discipline of ADONAI or become despondent when he corrects you.6 For ADONAI disciplines those he loves and whips everyone he accepts as a son.”
In the famous proverb:
Proverbs 13:24. (TLV) He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent with discipline.
Father = love. As a parent, you experience a small taste of how Adonai feels as “our Father in heaven.” When parents look into the face of their newborn baby, they know true unconditional love no matter what. That’s exactly how Adonai feels about us. Even when we stray, sin, are disobedient, Adonai loves us, He is disappointed yet still loves us! Hate the sin, but love the person! Abba Father is the source of our existence. He provides for us, corrects us, and loves us unconditionally.
I John 3:1. See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children! For that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it has not known him.
Lord, we pray specifically for all fathers and fatherhood across our nation. Your Word clearly instructs fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Adonai, we thank You for the men who are leading according to Your commands and Mitzvahs, the ones that are laying their lives down for Your purposes. We pray that You will continue to use these men to lead their families and other men. We pray You will strengthen the fathers of our nation and that You will continue to empower congregations, organizations, and individuals to invest in fathers and fatherhood for the sake of our children. In Yeshua’s name we pray, Amen!
May all you Fathers have a blessed and special day, Happy Father’s Day!
Rabbi Eric S Carlson