Deuteronomy 33-34, Job 20
I haven’t been a father for very long, but I’m aware of the impact I’ve already had on my daughter.
She’s a happy girl. I suppose I’m gushing a little, but it bears significance. I don’t suggest that my methods of living my life are superior to others, but the time I’ve been able to spend with my daughter because of the type of job I have has been critical in the context of her development, even at her young age.
I often think about how I spend my time and what kind of life I’m leading, perhaps obsessively. I’m aware that I set an example to my wife and my daughter every single day, whether I’m coming across as lazy or slothful, or conversely, overly fanatic or task-oriented. People outside of that circle are impacted by my daily activity to some degree, I presume; this very blog might be a part of it.
But essentially, the one thing I’d love to do is set the lasting example of a father that desires to serve the Lord relentlessly.
When I get older, my kids aren’t going to be thinking about how much money I made, or where the paychecks were coming from. They’ll remember, however, the character and the love of their father, how I handled different situations and what drove me to get out of bed every day.
I would guess that most of us think about the same things.
You do, right?
The Scriptures today, if you care to read them, reflect a dying man who blesses the people he spent time with, each with a unique benediction, and a friend granting advice about the resonating damage of wickedness.
As you might expect, your actions go both ways. Indeed, Moses was as obedient to the Lord as he knew how; the close of Deuteronomy labels Moses as a “servant of the Lord” and that “there has not in Israel arisen a prophet like Moses.” That’s a pretty sweet way to go, if you ask me.
But rather than garner attention and fanfare, Moses takes the opportunity to bless his guys. To the very end, it was never about himself.
In contrast, Zophar (another one of Job’s goofy friends) lays out a discourse about the fate of the wicked man. While his intentions are generally messed up, the content reeks of hardcore truth. One particular verse runs parallel with today’s theme:
7 Yet he will perish forever like his own refuse;
Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 He will fly away like a dream, and not be found;
Yes, he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye that saw him will see him no more,
Nor will his place behold him anymore.
10 His children will seek the favor of the poor,
And his hands will restore his wealth.
11 His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
But it will lie down with him in the dust.
Yikes. Not only will this guy be erased from everyone’s memory, but his kids will have to seek out the poor to restore his wealth. Now, I’m not a big advocate for big money, but that’s not the kind of life I’d like to leave behind for my offspring.
What you do now definitely matters later. Perhaps the burden of responsibility presented in this blog is a little heavy, but it doesn’t require a lot of work. Even humility in your lack and an apparent dependence upon God for all things is significant. Sincerity and transparency go a long way; you don’t have to be a superhero of fortitude to be influential to those around you.
I encourage you to start today, to begin thinking about what kind of life you’re leading — is it a self-centered life motivated by a desire to acquire, or is it a life that others can behold and witness the persistent transforming work of Jesus Christ within you?