The Abrahamic Heart of Family

In my understanding of the Abrahamic model of family and household, the nations are part of family whom we are to be a blessing to, not peoples apart from ourselves, The Hebraic way of seeing and thinking about society is significantly different from the Hellenic.

The Abrahamic family model is best understood with a Hebraic pattern of thought, which is premised upon a heart of understanding. In the Family model, the prerequisite is a covenant God makes with His chosen servant to whom he appoints His mandate. The essence of that chosen servant is his heart.

In contrast, the Hellenistic view of community is based on the superior “reason” of the “guardians” and as Richard Niebuhr pointed out, the basic fallacy of Hellenistic thinking was to regard the rational faculty as the source of justice. They had the “the illusion that the rulers were the instruments of justice because they possessed a higher measure of mind.” This is in contrast to Solomonic wisdom which begins with the heart. “Wisdom resteth in the heart of him who hath understanding.” (Prov 14:33)

When God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked what He could give him, Solomon asked for a heart of understanding to discern judgment for the people’s sake. “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” (1 Kings 3:9). God was so pleased it is recorded that He gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore (1 Kings 4:29).

The Hellenistic worldview tends to put the world, the self and God into a tidy little box called “reason” and explains everything from that perspective. It is a wisdom that descends not from above but is earthly, sensual and devilish (James 3:15). God’s wisdom is not in the words with which Hellenistic wisdom teaches but which the Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual ( I Cor 2:13).

“The Covenant of God with Israel is an article of faith.” A servant in covenant to His God acknowledges One higher than him and and hence the way of knowing and how he apprehends reality is completely different from one that is based on a Hellenic worldview. The Hebraic is predicated upon faith and not by sight.

Abrahamic vision is possible only because he saw by faith, which allowed God to put into such a man a “largeness of heart,” a heart without borders. Some people have spoken of a liquid church in the days to come, well, it certainly would have to have people with such ‘large hearts,” who can cross any borders, geographical, cultural or racial. The Abrahamic call is therefore one that is expansive and outward, beginning with a servant who leads in “washing the feet” of his ‘outer family,’ so that “all families of the earth’ may be blessed. We catch a glimpse of that servant heart in action from Genesis 19:2-4.

The understanding of the Abrahamic Family is Hebraic in heart and goes against our current understanding and knowledge of economics and politics which has been built from a rationalistic Hellenistic foundation. But can you imagine if this Abrahamic understanding is received by God’s people, the changes to economics and politics will be nothing less than tsunamic!

The reason why we have seen much oppression and injustice in the system of the world is because we have lost the Abrahamic heart of family. The “hearts of the fathers” have grown cold and they have forgotten their children. Because they have lost their “hearts,” the prerequisite for God’s wisdom, they do not have the “wisdom of the just” (Luke 1:17) to cut across cages that have bound the people, so that like prodigal sons, they may return to the Lord their God. The “wisdom of the just” in action is “the economics of philanthropy”which people can see and so open their eyes to the God they have forgotten.

God has brought us to recover a most fundamental truth of family, a truth that will help us to rebuild nations, raise up the former desolations and bring justice, righteousness and healing to them, the forgotten “sons of God” whom He loves and has commissioned us to be witnesses to.

We are coming into a fuller understanding of the call of Elijah and what it means in the light of the family.

“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the LORD.”(Luke 1:17).

And in Malachi 4:6

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the children to their fathers…”

It is indeed a hearty matter and that I suppose, in a nutshell, that is the essence of the Hebraic. Reality is first apprehended through a heart of understanding and then followed by a willing mind which finds its path of thought in His statutes, and His judgments and commandments.

“Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD” (Lev 19:37)

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