The Old Testament of the Bible ends with a stunning statement: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the
prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn the hearts of
the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the
earth with a curse." Malachi 4:5-6 (NKJV)
Being a father can be intimidating—yet not many of us fathers would admit to that. We know our job
is important, yet most of society treats fatherhood as second class at best. This morning I thought of Joseph, the earthly man who was given the responsibility of raising the Son of God (talk about intimidating)! Although very little is in the Scriptures about Joseph, we can glean several characteristics of importance.
The Bible calls Joseph a “just man,” who regulated his life by the law of God. When he thought Mary had committed adultery against him (Jewish law says stone her), he was not willing to expose her to public shame. His actions show him as a man of mercy—not giving her what it appeared she deserved.
God is looking for men who show mercy! When the angel told Joseph that Mary had conceived “by the Holy Spirit,” Joseph trusted God with what he could not understand.
Joseph heard from God in dreams and was willing to take great risks such as taking his full-term “wife” from Nazareth over the rough terrain towards Bethlehem. Then, later, he moved his new family to Egypt, based on a dream from God. The road God leads us on is not comfortable or smooth, but if followed, it will result in God’s will being accomplished through our lives.
Joseph was a man of mercy, courage, and compassion, who was able to trust God with what he could not understand. Having heard from God, he was a man of God who was willing to act decisively and take risks. God chose this kind of man to be the earthly leader for His Son!
Finally, God’s Word mentions that if the hearts of the fathers are not turned to the children and the children’s hearts turned to the fathers, it will result is the land being cursed! This Scripture speaks of the days we are now living in—the days immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ! Bumper stickers may celebrate an honor roll child, and trophies may signify a sporting accomplishment. Yet, if our children don’t receive eternal life through Christ, what will it all mean in the end? The curse over our land will be removed if fathers will humble themselves and let God lead them, and in turn lead their families in godliness!
This coming Sunday, Father’s Day, I plan to expand on these thoughts at:
Delphi First Assembly of God’s 9:30am service.
Pastor Brent Oliver grew up in Kokomo, Indiana and is an Ordained Minister through the Assemblies of God. Before embarking on God’s plan to establish a church in Delphi, Pastor Brent served in both Peru and Logansport, Indiana encompassing over 29 years of fulltime ministry. His vision and creativity has been the benchmark for the growing ministry at Delphi First and after 23 years, his passion and leadership could not be stronger.