I am going to lift the sweet mantle of charity this morning, where love covers a multitude of sins only to take a look back into the stories of Old Testament families.
Let's take a close look at prominent Bible families this morning.
• In Adam’s family there was a murderer. Genesis 4:8
• In Noah’s family there was the immoral ham. Genesis 9:2-25
• In Abraham’s family we discover the persecuting Ismael. Galatians 4:22-29
• Righteous lot had adulterous daughters. Genesis 19:32
• Isaac the son of laughter had a profane Esau. Hebrews 12:16
• Jacob had sons, one like unto him, who were treacherous. Genesis 37: 11-33
• Eli the chief priest had ungodly sons. 1Samuel 2:22-24
• King David had a son named Absalom who attempted to take the kingdom away from his
father. 2 Samuel 1:5-6
• Ahab had an, ungodly wife, named Jezebel and it took two chapters in the bible to
describe her ungodliness. 1 Samuel 16 & 21
• Hezekiah gives history an idolatrous Manasseh. 2 kings 21
• Even Jesus had unbelieving relatives. Luke 21: 1-6, 47,48
We learn from the 1st family, Adam and Eve, that failure is never fatal in grace and that God allows us in on the stories of men whose spirits indeed were willing but their flesh was week. In this we all learn that God gives us an open look into several second chance men in the storied book. Still all in all God has chosen to work through families. I wrote the other day that my first best friends were my cousins. There were no other people in the world that were as smart, none that were better cooks, Carpenters, Iron Workers, Bible Scholars and so on. The men fished, hunted and brought home fish, shrimp and wildlife from doves and squirrels to deer and even an opossum.
Our identity is in our families and it is easy to see in God’s Word that lineage and heritage are very important to God. The men and women had an honorable work ethic and would say at the end of the week, I did not have to back up to get my check. Women worked when they had to and at times they had to. My grandmother was a seamstress at a major department store and she rode a bus to downtown in the morning and back to her house in the evening to make ends meet for her and my uncle who was the youngest and last child at home. He had to go to work at an early age type setting in a newspaper company and worked his way through Texas Wesleyan University in Ft. Worth. He worked at the Downtown Ft. Worth YMCA, which at that time was the Young Men’s Christian Association.
I remember having to live with my aunt when my mother had to go to Fordyce, Arkansas during World War II, she worked at a munitions plant. Many women went to work at that time to provide manpower in the supply line for our men and women overseas. The value of this to me was that I learned at an early age, what it was for families to have to pull together, it was by this that they were able to make it through hard times. Yes, you learn life lessons even when you are not aware of it, for instance I remember to this day how hard it was the day my Father and Mother had to go to a loan company and refinance our home. It is strange how tough times make a family unit stronger and that was one of the hard times. I can still remember going by a service station that day and seeing a hand-written sign out in front of gas pumps, gasoline 13.9 Cents. I still remember that it was a Gulf Oil Station.
In the middle of all this there was a faith that was unshakable, a commitment to God that was irreversible and a confidence in God that brought us through the most difficult of days.
It was easy to see their humanity and vulnerability, they could not hide it but I can also remember how life changed when Christ became the center of our family life and how beautiful life together really was. Life together for us is not just words it becomes a way of life.
Love covers a multitude of sins and we love you more than you could ever know.
We are a family of believers who have already chosen to believe in you
You are loved, appreciated, and prayed for,
Pastor Cleddie Keith