TO HEAL A NATION(Pt. 3)

“Look, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome Day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to [their] children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5, 6 HCSB)

The Old Testament ends with the unfinished story of God’s Original design for Creation. He had in mind that He would create a world and place mankind upon it in order to populate it with A Family. Without the theme of Family in the Scriptures we will miss the heart of the message from the heart of God to us.

“BET”

The primary language of the Old Testament is Hebrew. Ancient Hebrew was first a “Picture language” meaning that a letter or word was recognized by certain symbols or images. It is interesting to note that the very first Hebrew letter of the Bible is the letter “Bet”. It is represented by the image of a “Tent with a floor” or “A house with a roof”. From the root “Bet”, we later get words such as “Bethel”(House of God- Genesis 12:8; 28:17-19) or “Bethlehem”(House of Bread-Ruth 1:2,6).

A FAMILY ALBUM

The Bible is “A Family Album”. Today people will place pictures of the family; birthdays, graduations, weddings, family reunions and so forth. They are placed in an album to preserve the memory of family events. So too we have God’s record of “Family” events. From the first Book, Genesis, we read of God creating a man and women. They were blessed and commanded “to be fruitful and multiply”(Genesis 1:26-28). It is recorded that they start their family,two boys (Cain and Abel ). Their is family strife, Cain kills his brother (Genesis 4). So we have the first murder recorded in Scriptures…a family affair. The story moves forward with destruction of families by a flood and a single family being preserved ;Family of Noah (Genesis 6-9). The story moves forward and we find that the family line makes a decided break with God’s plan to populate the earth (Tower of Babel-Genesis 11). God confuses the language and people are scattered into various regions, so as not to achieve their humanistic goals apart from God. But the story doesn’t end there, God finds a man who will represent God’s Family line in the earth.

ABRAHAM

“The Lord said to Abram: Go out from your land,your relatives,and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation,
I will bless you,
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:1, 2 HCSB)

Through Abram, whose name “exalted father” was changed to Abraham “meaning “Father of a multitude”, God would achieve His plan. Through Abraham’s faith and friendship with God he would bring forth a promised “seed”. In that “seed” God would bring forth the Family-likeness. The apostle Paul lets us in on the mystery of God’s promise to Abraham.

“Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ, for you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ [like a garment]. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:16, 26-29 HCSB)

COME HOME

Jesus(Yeshua) understood His ministry upon the earth was to connect not only His Jewish brethren but the world with the heart of the Father for an eternal family. Perhaps there is no more beloved story in the New Testament than the Story of the Prodigal Son(Luke 15:11-32). I have personally witnessed ,while simply reading this story of the returning son to his father’s house ,caused uncontrollable tears from an audience that was far from God.

I believe , for all our clever theological word play or debates,this aspect of the message of the Good News is being neglected. God wanted to demonstrate His forgiving and reconciling love through the sacrifice of His unique beloved Son so we could “find our way back into the open arms of God and a “Welcome Home” into His Forever Family”. Could it be that this story of the Prodigal gave new meaning to God’s Words: “And he will turn the hearts of fathers to [their] children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6 HCSB)?

When parents are rightly related toward children and children toward parents…healing will occur in our land.

(c) Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher. All rights are reserved. This article may be reproduced free of charge provided that it sis not altered in any way from it’s original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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