The question that reveal the mandate of God
Genesis 3:9 seemingly records the first open dialogue between God and humans. The tempter had meddled the authority space of humans, fabricated lies to the woman, and took advantage of man’s negligence. The damage was done and the sacred union between God and mankind stood severed. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”. The question arising out of this circumstance in Eden is profound, while at the same time bears remarkable implications.
It is profound because the maker himself is demanding a response. The Omniscient is enquiring and searching for a man in hiding, as though the occurrences were not in God’s sphere of enlightenment. Even so, it is equally remarkable because the question was not directed to Satan who first violated and prompted the fall, nor was it addressed to Eve who sinned willfully. The interrogation seems biased, but it was intentionally expressed and directed to Adam. This unfolds into intense moments as we start to comprehend the concerned heart of father God, amidst a broken relationship and loss.
The commission of Fatherhood
Why should Adam be questioned and hunted when all the three in Eden fell short? What does God intend to communicate regarding His original design of mankind when questioning man for the action of his partner? God is not partial in his plans nor His execution. He punished Satan, Eve and Adam for their sin, while accounting Adam for his particular mandate. As carriers of life, both man and woman each have their distinctive roles that God ordains. Therefore, in light of God’s engagement with Adam, we must view and explore manhood in God’s standard, especially man’s commission as the head of the family and as a spiritual father to the body of Christ.
1. God has placed a divine commitment on man as the head of the Home and he is entrusted with the mandate to instruct and protect it (Eph 5,6). Additionally, as a spiritual shepherd of the body of Christ, he has the charge to teach and care for the body (1 Peter 5). Man is the father figure representing God under the headship of Christ. Man is not expected to be a simpleton but one who exercises his authority over situations. Adam was given authority over all the beasts and failed to exercise it over the cunning serpent. Adam was made in the very image of God but was duped by the evil one into thinking that eating the forbidden fruit will make him like God.
2. Subsequently, God sets tremendous accountability on man for these assignments. Man is obliged to give an account of all that is under his care and authority. Man’s divine appointments are not about power control in the family and lording over the flock. It is all about the authority to administer truth and the stewardship of all that is entrusted to him.
His Kingdom Come, Father’s will be done
As amusing it may seem, an army officer who is commissioned to serve and protect cannot be found wandering in cafes or employed at a circus with his gear. The Father of today needs to identify themselves with the commission and be engaged with Kingdom principles over temporary gratification. The ancient serpent who orchestrated his scheme in Eden is now ever strong as the great deceiving dragon.
1. The deceiver creates a fake paradigm that misleads one to reduce the God-ordained priorities and wander into self-fulfilment. This may seem subtle, but as the head of the family, directing the home and building up the children is the fundamental role of a Father. From a spiritual standpoint, the qualification of a minister as directed by the word requires that the candidate manages his home well. Sadly, this is not a prerequisite for ordaining a minister these days. Yes, it’s a failure, but that’s how powerful these paradigm shifts are.
2. The tempter keeps us busy with things that are of no eternal value. Work, wealth, health, leisure, social life are all necessary, but true success is what we finally carry into eternity. Similarly, obsession with ministry programmes may not always be devout, as Jesus is looking for Marys over Marthas.
3. The destroyer is committed to dividing relations between parents, children and believers. We who are aware of his schemes, cannot allow the evil one to separate the union God knit, nor should we exasperate our children and allow them to be torn away from our bond.
Therefore, Fathers commissioned by God, life is not our self-story. It is the essence that originates from our head and saviour Jesus. He commands us to love as He did and do all that it takes to redeem our family. He died for us, and nothing less will do in observing this commission.
Jesus will build his Church, hell shall not overcome
The damages are evident both in our modern family and the church – Children are turning rebels, divorce rates have soared, a whopping 85% of inmates in the USA come from fatherless families, child trafficking has increased, apostasy is on the rise, Churches are filled with knowledge but no fathers to rebuke and mentor, children are left to be taught by Sunday school teachers and youth leaders, the world system (that is currently eliminating words like ‘Father’, ‘Mother’ from our vocabulary) is educating our generation. In all these situations, the mandate of a Father is the missing thread. Differing from God’s commission have eroded the value system and have created a crisis today that looms larger than the pandemic we now suffer. So, if the question is ever due, it is due to the man hiding away from the charge he carries
In these last days, God is looking for a man to father a godly home – A father who will represent God, instruct and lead his family, discipline & encourage his children in the way of the Lord. Adam may have faltered, but Noah who saved himself and his family when a generation was wiped out, speaks loudly to each one of us fathers.
The one who is THE WORD wants to have a word with you. The question that resounded in Eden resonates in the hearts of every man on planet earth today. And the truth is to be known – Where are you, Adam?
Pr. Ribi Kenneth