Archives For Interpretation

John 17 provides a marvelous record of Jesus’ praying to the Father. Jesus explicitly speaks six times of the Father’s sending Him (17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23, 25):

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

He defines eternal life in terms that include knowing that He is the God-sent Christ (17:3). He speaks of His own disciples’ believing (17:8) and knowing (17:25) that the Father sent Him.

Concerning the world, He first parallels His sending His disciples into the world with the Father’s sending Him into the world (17:18). He then adds two explicit statements that make known His praying to the Father that the world would believe (17:21) and know (17:23) that the Father has sent Him and has loved them, as He has loved Jesus (17:23).

In these statements, Jesus teaches that it is through the unity of the believers in the Father and the Son that the world will believe and know that message. His greatest concern, however, is not the unity of the believers as an end in itself; that unity is for the higher purpose of a worldwide proper knowledge of His being sent by the Father and of the Father’s love for the world, even as He has loved Jesus.

Jesus’ prayer to the Father greatly highlights His agency as the God-sent One. For Jesus’ prayer to be answered fully as He desires, our doctrine and practice must make known to the world His agency.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Divine Mercy to Animals

March 20, 2011

The book of Jonah reveals the great mercy of God through its record about Jonah and God’s dealings with him because of his unwillingness to deliver His message to the wicked city of Nineveh. Jonah was unwilling to deliver God’s message because He knew the merciful character of God and did not want the Ninehevites to receive mercy (Jon. 4:1-3). By subjecting Jonah to great affliction, God finally brought him to willingness to deliver that message to them. After Jonah did so, God dealt with him about his ungodly lack of compassion.

In the final scene of the book, God rebukes Jonah for his displeasure at His sparing the Ninevehites. He first points out how Jonah had pity on a plant when it perished, even though he had not labored for it or made it to grow (4:9-10). In the final words of the book, He then rebukes him by saying, “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” (Jon. 4:11).

This great verse reveals the heart of God in a wonderful way. Through a rhetorical question that expects a positive answer, God made known that He should spare a vast multitude of people in that wicked city who in some manner did not know which hand was which. To me, this statement provides a basis for believing that babies, small children, and people who are severely mentally handicapped go to heaven when they die.

Interestingly, God does not stop with his statement about the people that He wanted to spare in Nineveh. His final words reveal that He held that He also should have spared the abundant cattle that were in the city.

Why did God inform Jonah of this fact? He apparently wanted to make known to Jonah (and to us) that His great mercy extended even to animals that would have perished.

Jonah’s message brought about the repentance of the Ninehevites (Lk. 11:32), a repentance that resulted in the sparing of many helpless people and animals. Christ has commissioned His people to proclaim repentance and remission of sins to all nations (Lk. 24:47). We know that He commissioned that message because God desires that no one would perish (2 Pet. 3:9). From what we know about God’s dealings with the Ninehevites, should we understand that Christ also intends that the proper reception by all nations of His commissioned message would be a means of providing divine mercy in some manner to many animals?

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In my dissertation, I presented a close comparison in English and Greek between several verses in the Septuagint and Acts 2:36. Here is a somewhat expanded version of that comparison (highlighting used to help make the comparison clearer): 

Gen 27:29 And let nations serve thee, and princes bow down to thee, and be thou lord of thy brother, and the sons of thy father shall do thee reverence; accursed is he that curses thee, and blessed is he that blesses thee.

Gen 27:29 καὶ δουλευσάτωσάν σοι ἔθνη καὶ προσκυνήσουσίν σοι ἄρχοντες καὶ γίνου κύριος τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου καὶ προσκυνήσουσίν σοι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ πατρός σου ὁ καταρώμενός σε ἐπικατάρατος ὁ δὲ εὐλογῶν σε εὐλογημένος 

Gen 27:37 And Isaac answered and said to Esau, If I have made him thy lord, and have made all his brethren his servants, and have strengthened him with corn and wine, what then shall I do for thee, son?

Gen 27:37 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ισαακ εἶπεν τῷ Ησαυ εἰ κύριον αὐτὸν ἐποίησά σου καὶ πάντας τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐποίησα αὐτοῦ οἰκέτας σίτῳ καὶ οἴνῳ ἐστήρισα αὐτόν σοὶ δὲ τί ποιήσω τέκνον 

Gen 45:8 Now then ye did not send me hither, but God; and he hath made me as a father of Pharao, and lord of all his house, and ruler of all the land of Egypt.

Gen 45:8 νῦν οὖν οὐχ ὑμεῖς με ἀπεστάλκατε ὧδε ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ὁ θεός καὶ ἐποίησέν με ὡς πατέρα Φαραω καὶ κύριον παντὸς τοῦ οἴκου αὐτοῦ καὶ ἄρχοντα πάσης γῆς Αἰγύπτου 

Gen 45:9 Hasten, therefore, and go up to my father, and say to him, These things saith thy son Joseph; God has made me lord of all the land of Egypt; come down therefore to me, and tarry not.

Gen 45:9 σπεύσαντες οὖν ἀνάβητε πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ εἴπατε αὐτῷ τάδε λέγει ὁ υἱός σου Ιωσηφ ἐποίησέν με ὁ θεὸς κύριον πάσης γῆς Αἰγύπτου κατάβηθι οὖν πρός με καὶ μὴ μείνῃς 

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Act 2:36 ἀσφαλῶς οὖν γινωσκέτω πᾶς οἶκος Ἰσραὴλ ὅτι καὶ κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ χριστὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός, τοῦτον τὸν Ἰησοῦν ὃν ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε. 

Notice that Genesis 27:37, 45:8, and 45:9 all contain the same verb (ποιέω; “made”) as Acts 2:36 and the same word for Lord (κύριος). In particular, Genesis 45:8-9 compared with Acts 2:36 allows the Bible to interpret itself and helps us understand what Peter said: As God had exalted Joseph to a position of authority that he never had before, God has exalted Jesus to a position of authority as Lord and Christ that He as the God-man never had before. 

This comparison shows that Peter’s statement does not primarily signify that God has announced to people that Jesus is the Lord and the Christ, that is, Jesus is both God and Messiah. Rather, Peter climaxed his gospel message at Pentecost by emphasizing that all the house of Israel must know that the Father has glorified Jesus to a position of supreme authority as Lord and Christ. We, therefore, should urge lost people to believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead and acknowledge that God has exalted Him as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10; cf. 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 21).

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

One day, Jesus will return in glory as the Son of Man (Matt. 25:31-46). He will be the King (25:34, 40) who will judge all nations. He will separate them into the sheep and the goats (25:32-33). His dealings with both groups provide us with significant information concerning the Bible’s teaching about the everlasting fire in which unrepentant sinners will ultimately suffer.

The King will command the sheep on His right hand to enter into glory: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (25:34). This statement by the Judge is striking in what it teaches.

First, it says that the Father is the ultimate agent (perfect passive participle [εὐλογημένοι] with a genitive noun for the ultimate agent [τοῦ πατρός]) who has blessed the sheep so that they will inherit the kingdom (τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ, Δεῦτε, οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ πατρός μου, κληρονομήσατε τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου). The King thus is the judicial agent of the Father who will authoritatively call the sheep and direct them to enter into the kingdom.

Second, the King will specify that the kingdom has been prepared for the sheep (dative of advantage) from the foundation of the world. Saying this, the King will testify to the eternal benevolent purpose of God for them.

The record of the King’s statements to the goats, however, differs, from His address to the sheep in important ways. To the goats, the Judge says, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (25:41). Unlike His earlier statement concerning the sheep, the Judge does not say that the goats are cursed of the Father. Although the Father through His King will ultimately consign the goats to their terrible place of punishment, the King does not say that they were cursed by the Father.

The King also does not say who has prepared the everlasting fire. Of course, it is clear that God is the One who has prepared the fire, but the Judge chooses not to say so in this statement.

Moreover, instead of specifying that the fire was prepared for the goats, the Judge specifies that the fire was prepared for the devil and his angels. This facet of His end-time judicial pronouncements is worth pondering deeply. Why does the Judge not specify to the goats that the fire was prepared for them? Why does He make known, instead, that it was prepared for the evil spirit beings that rebelled against God?

These differences in the King’s dealings with the sheep and the goats suggest that even at that decisive moment when their eternal fates are finally made known, God will reveal something about His heart for mankind. His not saying that He cursed the goats and prepared the fire for them from the foundation of the world may be implicit final testimony to all who are present at that solemn occasion (as well to all who read or hear this teaching but may not be present at that occasion) of His essential eternal benevolence toward mankind.

Whether this interpretation of His final saying to the wicked is correct or not, for us who are alive now, the King desires that we repent toward the Father and believe that He has raised His Christ, the Lord Jesus, from the dead. Confessing that Christ as the Lord and calling upon Him now while there is yet time, we one day will be with Him in eternal glory in His Father’s kingdom!

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In the Greek version of the 39 books of the OT, 37* of them use the Greek word for Lord (kurios) to express the judicial actions or authority of God:

  • Gen. 6:5ff.; Exod. 9:3; Lev. 10:2; Num. 33:4; Deut. 32:36 
  • Jos. 24:20; Judg. 11:27; Ruth 1:17 
  • 1 Sam. 2:10; 2 Sam. 3:39; 1 Ki. 2:32; 2 Ki. 15:5; 1 Chr. 2:3; 2 Chr. 7:21 
  • Ezr. 9:15; Neh. 1:8; Est.  4:17* [the Hebrew does not have a word for Lord here or anywhere else in Esther] 
  • Ps. 7:7; Prov. 3:32-33; Job 42:7 
  • Isa. 1:24; Jer. 1:14; Lam. 1:5; Ezek. 5:8; Dan. 1:2 
  • Hos. 1:4; Joel 1:15; Amos 1:2; Obad. 1:1-2; Jon. 1:14 
  • Mic. 1:3; Nah. 1:2-3; Hab. 1:12; Zeph. 1:2-3; Hag. 1:9; Zech. 1:12; Mal. 1:4

Only Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon do not have the word in them. 

This Greek word for Lord is used profusely in the Greek Old Testament to communicate truth about God as the Judge. For example, the word is used more than 40 times just in Genesis alone in that way. Genesis also explicitly identifies the Lord (18:22-33) as the Judge of all the earth (18:25). Although I have not yet compiled the exact number of times kurios is used concerning the Lord in this sense, it is very likely well over 2500 times in the OT (In my dissertation research, I compiled more than 3700 verses in the OT concerning God as the Judge, and a high percentage of them use the word Lord for God.) 

Based on this data, we should understand that any one who was familiar with the Old Testament in Greek would have had the profound sense that this word with great frequency communicates truth about God as the Judge. Almost every book they would read in their Bibles would testify to them about the Lord as the Judge. When such a person would hear apostolic evangelistic proclamation about Jesus that declared Him to be the One that God has made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36), what truth about Jesus would he very likely have understood the term to communicate (cf. the subsequent flow of thought in Acts 2:37ff.)? 

Along that line, of the 27 books in the Greek NT, 21 of them use the word to express the judicial actions or authority of God or Jesus in some manner: 

  • Matt. 7:22-23; Mk. 12:9 (human master; clear implicit significance for Christ); Lk. 13:25-28; John 8:11 
  • Acts 2:20; Rom. 9:28; 1 Co. 4:4-5; 2 Co. 5:10-11 
  • Eph. 6:9; Phil. 2:11 (those under the earth will not bow to Him willingly, but they will be forced to do so; cf. Rom 14:11); Col. 3:24 
  • 1 Thess. 4:6; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:16 
  • Heb. 10:30; Jas. 5:7-8; 1 Pet. 3:12; 2 Pet. 2:9; Jude 1:5; Rev. 15:4 

Galatians and Philemon do have the word, but they do not have any clear uses of it to convey someone who renders judgment. Four books (Titus and the Johannine Epistles) do not have any occurrences of the word. 

The Greek word for Lord communicates truth about God as the Judge in 58 of the 66 books of the Bible in Greek. When key statements in the New Testament speak of Jesus as Lord, we must interpret them in light of this data.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

When he stood trial before King Agrippa, the apostle Paul declared, “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). What Paul said next is striking because it reveals that his own thinking about what was central for him to do in obedience to his heavenly vision was more than what many believers today might initially think that it was. His first statement about his obedience was not a statement explicitly about his proclaiming Christ. In fact, Paul’s first words in explaining his obedience do not say anything at all explicitly about his ministering to people content about Jesus. (Of course, proclaiming Christ was a key aspect of Paul’s obedience, as his later statements make clear [26:22-23]). Instead, Paul said that he . . . (read the full article)

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Before Jesus died on the Cross, He said, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” (Matt. 27:46; caps in original). Although He Himself was fully God, Jesus addressed the Father as His God twice in this statement. Anyone who reads this statement and understands what He said has to reckon with the fact that the One dying on the Cross made an incredible statement that was not focused on His own deity. Rather, the reader is to accept the truth of the profound reality communicated by Jesus’ words concerning Him and His Father. 

In one of His resurrection appearances, Jesus said to Mary, “Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God” (John 20:17). Although He had risen from the dead, He had not yet been glorified at the Father’s right hand when He made this statement that speaks of the Father as His God. Again, the reader is confronted with a statement that directs his attention away from Jesus’ own deity and to that same profound truth seen earlier. Apparently, Jesus intended His saying to communicate to His original audience and to all who have encountered it thereafter that the Crucifixion and the Resurrection did not change this profound reality concerning Him and His Father. 

About six decades after Jesus had made these statements, Jesus appeared to the apostle John. At that time, He had already been glorified at the Father’s right hand for more than half a century. In one of His statements to John, the glorified Jesus again spoke of the Father as His God. This time, however, He strikingly emphasized that truth by repeating the words, “My God,” four times

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Rev. 3:12). 

Why did Jesus repeatedly say these words to John? Apparently, Jesus intended to communicate unmistakably to John that His ascension and glorification did not change the profound reality concerning Him and His Father that He had spoken of decades earlier. The Father was still His God, and Jesus wanted to be sure that John understood that fact and was mindful of it. 

Moreover, by His including these words in one of the letters to the seven churches, we understand that Jesus wanted to confront all the churches of that time with the same striking emphasis. Jesus thus desired that all believers of that time would be mindful of the profound reality of the Father as His God. 

Because the Holy Spirit has recorded these statements in Scripture, it is clear that there is a divine intent for all believers in all subsequent ages to be mindful of the fact that the Father is still Jesus’ God. The last statement by Jesus about that truth emphasized that truth far beyond the other two. Revelation was written several decades after Jesus’ glorification, and the greater emphasis on this truth in Revelation 3:12 suggests that believers at that time needed an even stronger presentation of that truth than those who lived during the days that Jesus was on the earth. 

If this understanding is correct, why was it so? Perhaps part of the explanation for what Jesus did is found in considering our human desire ever increasingly to resolve paradoxical truths and explain everything as fully as possible. How the Father can be the God of Jesus—who Himself is God—is a very difficult truth for us as humans to handle. Jesus’ final statement served not to lessen the difficulty but to intensify it greatly. We thus must conclude that God views it as very important that we maintain, regardless of the difficulties that doing so presents to our minds, full belief in and mindfulness of both Jesus’ own deity and the truth of the Father’s continuing even today to be the God of Jesus.

Jesus repeatedly spoke of the Father as His God so that we would not become overly focused on Jesus’ own deity and lose sight of the profound nature of His relationship to the Father. Revelation 3:13 shows that we must continue to make known that emphasis in our churches today.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

An examination of the occurrences of the word Savior in Scripture reveals some striking facts. The following study seeks ultimately to allow Scripture to direct us concerning the question, “Is it essential to use the word Savior in Gentile evangelism?” 

The word Savior does not occur in the OT until Second Samuel 22:3. This means that the first nine books of the OT do not have the word even once. It occurs twelve times in five books among the remaining 29 books. Of the 39 books of the OT, the word thus does not occur in 33 of them. (The word does occur in two other books as a plural in references to people [Neh. 9:27; Oba. 21]). 

Four books have one occurrence each (2 Kings 13:5; Psalm 106:21; Jer. 14:8; Hos. 13:4). Isaiah has 8 occurrences (19:20; 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21; 49:26; 60:16; 63:8). Of these references, the first one refers ultimately to the Messiah’s future work in the end times, but the rest do not (at least directly and unambiguously) seem to set forth the Messiah as the Savior. The OT, therefore, uses the word Savior only once to emphasize who the Messiah would be

In the NT, the word does not occur in Matthew or Mark. God thus inspired two Gospels that present the life of Christ without using the word at all. The word Savior occurs twice in Luke (God [Luke 1:47] and Jesus [2:11]) and once in John (Jesus, 4:42). In Luke, it occurs in the angelic announcement at the birth of Christ, which certainly was an announcement of good news for all people. In John, the word occurs in a statement by some Samaritans who heard Christ and believed in Him. The Gospels, therefore, lack any explicit record of its use in evangelism by any human. They also do not record a single instance of Jesus’ referring to Himself as the Savior. 

The word Savior occurs twice in Acts (5:31; 13:23), but not in either of the two epochal accounts of apostolic evangelism, Pentecost and Gentecost. Instead, in two lesser accounts, the word occurs in explicit statements concerning what God has done for Israel. Acts 5 records the testimony of Peter and the apostles to the Jewish Council, and thus appears not to have much direct bearing on our understanding of Gentile evangelism. Though there were Gentiles present when Paul preached his message in Antioch (13:42), his subsequent statement (13:46) shows that he did not regard this occasion at least in some sense as Gentile evangelism. Acts, therefore, does not record a single instance of the use of the word Savior in a context of exclusively Gentile evangelism

The word Savior also does not occur in the four major theological epistles concerning salvation (Romans; 1 Corinthians; Galatians; Hebrews; this identification of these books as the four major theological epistles concerning salvation is from a recent statement in a sermon by Dr. Mark Minnick). Its absence in the greatest theological treatise in the world about salvation, the book of Romans, is incredible. Furthermore, Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 declare central truths about the gospel, but they do not use the word Savior to do so. (If use of the word were truly central to apostolic evangelism, 1 Corinthians 15:3 would seemingly have been a prime place for Paul to do so.)

In the other Epistles, it occurs 19 times. The word refers to the Father 7 times (three times each in First Timothy [1:1; 2:3; 4:10] and Titus [1:3; 2:10; 3:4] and once in Jude 25). 

The word Savior refers to Jesus 12 times in these Epistles (once each in four books [Eph. 5:23; Phil. 3:20; 2 Tim. 1:10; 1 John 4:14]; three times in Titus [1:4; 2:13; 3:6]; and five times in Second Peter [1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:2, 18]). Two of the twelve references to Jesus in the Epistles have significant relevance concerning apostolic evangelism (2 Tim. 1:10; 1 John 4:14), but lack of further information leaves unclear their exact relevance for evangelism today. 

The word Savior does not occur in Revelation. The inspired capstone of divine revelation thus does not use the word at all to refer to Jesus. 

Based on this analysis of the divinely inspired content of Scripture, how much emphasis and what kind of emphasis should we give to this word in our doctrine and practice? In particular, is it essential to use the word Savior in Gentile evangelism?

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Hebrews 11 highlights many great heroes of the Christian faith, especially Abraham and Moses. Much preaching and teaching focuses on these great men and others like David, who is only mentioned in passing in 11:32. Though he is spoken of in two full verses (Heb. 11:5-6), Enoch, however, seems to have received far less attention. Closely examining the scriptural revelation about him shows some important truths from his life. Most of all, we can and should learn to please God from his example. 

Overall, Scripture does not provide much revelation about Enoch. Four passages tell us about him (Genesis 5; 1 Chronicles 1:3; Hebrews 11; and Jude). From these passages, we learn two major truths about Enoch that teach us how to please God. 

Please God by walking with Him 

As a married man with sons and daughters, Enoch walked with God for three hundred years (Gen. 5:21-24)! He pleased God and did not see death because God translated him (Heb. 11:5). People searched for him but did not find him because God was so pleased with him that He translated him. The next verse declares that pleasing God is only possible by those who come to Him as believers in His existence and His being a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). 

Together, Hebrews 11:5-6, therefore, teach us that Enoch pleased God by walking with Him by coming to Him with faith in His existence and in His being the God who rewards people who seek Him earnestly. Moreover, like Enoch, we too must in our Christian faith learn to please God. To do so, we must walk with Him with confidence in Him and in His intent to reward us for pursuing Him wholeheartedly. 

Please God by speaking for Him 

Although many have given attention to what Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11 together teach us about Enoch, fewer people seem to have considered how Jude 14-15 compared with these passages also teaches us important truths about how Enoch walked with God in a pleasing way. Jude 14 tells us that Enoch was the seventh from Adam. It adds that he prophesied of the Lord’s coming. 

What is not often brought out is what the content of Enoch’s prophesying about the Lord’s coming teaches us about how he pleased God by walking by faith in Him. Enoch prophesied that the Lord would come with multitudes of His saints to render judgment on all ungodly people (Jude 15). Yet, we are not given any information that the Lord ever returned to do so in Enoch’s lifetime. 

By comparing Genesis 5, Hebrews 11, and Jude, we thus learn that Enoch believed and proclaimed to others the revelation that he received from some undisclosed source about the future coming of the Lord to judge. These passages considered together suggest that Enoch’s faith in future judgment by God was a key element of his walk that pleased God. We thereby should learn the great importance of that doctrine in our Christian faith. 

From all that we know about Enoch, we learn that we are to stress that God desires to reward those who diligently seek Him, having heeded His revelation that warns of His future judgment of the ungodly that refuse to please Him by faith. Although speaking of future judgment by God is an unpopular teaching with many people, Enoch’s example shows us that communication of that truth is a vital aspect of a walk that pleases God

Scripture teaches us that there are many important doctrines in the Christian faith, and the example of Enoch teaches us that the doctrine of judgment is one of those doctrines. From other Scripture, we learn that we are to preach the judgment of God compassionately and lovingly whenever possible. Let us please God in our Christian faith by walking with Him and speaking for Him.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Learning Parenting from Job

February 26, 2011

Scripture speaks highly of Job in several passages (1:1, 8; 2:3; Ezek. 14:14, 20; cf. James 5:11). In fact, God Himself commends Job twice to Satan by declaring, “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil” (1:8; 2:3). Job thus was the godliest man of his day. 

Because God attested to his excelling character and life, it seems reasonable to conclude that Job was a model father. Along that line, the initial account of the book reveals an aspect of Job’s parenting that is worth considering carefully. 

After describing the habitual practice of his children, the writer of Job tells what Job did out of concern for his children: 

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 (1:5). 

In some unspecified manner, Job regularly met with his children and sanctified them. Their having their own houses and feasting in them shows that at least his sons were adults (1:4). Job thus ministered to his adult children on a regular basis regarding their spiritual state. As circumstances allow, many parents today also actively interact regularly with their adult children with the intent of ministering to them directly concerning their spiritual condition. 

Job’s great concern for his children’s spiritual state also led him to offer burnt sacrifices to God continually in view of what his children may have done against God in their hearts. Job, therefore, understood that the wrong thoughts of his children were also sinful and required the offering of burnt sacrifices

Job was an exemplary father in his day. How many fathers today routinely minister to their adult children out of concern for their sinning against God in their hearts? How many fathers regularly consider the possible sinfulness of the thought life of their adult children and bring that concern to God in their prayers for them? Job’s practice seems to inform us that parents, especially fathers, should continually parent even their adult children in at least these ways.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.