And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, Since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through him and shall bless themselves by him? For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him. (Gen 18:17-19)
Abraham was central to God’s plan to bless the nations of the earth and so God’s promise to Abraham was “in you all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” Like many of God’s promises though, what the recipient of the promise does can be a major determinant of whether that promise comes to pass. In the case of Abraham, it was.
When God called Abraham out of his father’s house, it was because God was looking for a person with whom he could start a new tribe of people who would ultimately “do what is just and righteous”. God in essence wanted to give mankind a chance at building functional societies where justice reigned, and He headhunted Abraham because God evaluated that he was one person who would “teach and command his children and sons of his house to keep the way of the Lord”.
Basically, when God conceived the plan to build just human societies, the most important factor he considered was parenting – particularly of the godly type. God’s model for achieving this was to befriend Abraham and through him transmit His values to Abraham’s offspring and ultimately spread them through the whole earth.
As you search through scripture, you will notice that it is upon this model that God banks, and so you will repeatedly see His emphasis on godly parenting. For instance, Psalm 127 speaks to a dynamic of parenting that we see a lot of today. God in that portion raises the question of how the rat race impacts parenting. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” the Psalmist wrote, just after mentioning that waking up early (to hustle) and sleeping late is not a sure formula for success, especially as it means that children (who are God’s heritage) are neglected.
And when we come to God’s house – the Church, God again uses success at parenting as a filter for selecting leaders in the Church. He asks essentially, “if a person can’t handle parenting in such a way that his children can walk in obedience, why does he think he should be leading a larger group?” (1 Tim 3:4-6). We see here again a hint that effective parenting should generally result in functional homes – and by extension functional societies where justice and right living are the order of the day.
When we look at the wickedness in our society today, we have to acknowledge that far too many people have dropped the parenting ball. Thankfully, we can cry (in prayer) over spilt milk. And rising, we must get to work restoring godly parenting in our homes and so doing transform our societies, and bless the nations of the world.