SANCTIFYING our CHILDREN through INTERCESSORY PRAYER
May 24 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 1-3
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job...and his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (Job 1:1a, 4-5)
Job was a wealthy man who lived in the land of Uz that was located in Edom, southeast of Palestine (Lam. 4:21). Job was described as an upright, beyond reproach and God-fearing like Noah (Gen. 6:9). God had blessed Job with a large family (seven sons and three daughters) along with vast holdings of livestock and other assets (Job 1:1–3). But his greatest possession was his piety, a godliness that caused him constantly to be vigilant regarding the spiritual well-being of his children (1:4–5).
One of the strong arguments that the events of Job took place in the patriarchal era is the fact that Job, as father of the family, acted as priest and sacrificed burnt offerings for his sons. This was a common practice prior to Mosaic Law. Job was always concerned that someone in his family might sin and curse God. The idea of cursing God is crucial to the story, since Satan believed that Job would curse God (1:11; 2:5) and Job’s wife demanded that he curse God (2:9).
Job was a spiritual man clearly sensitive to sin and its consequent need for sacrifice as he recognized the internal nature of sin. His concern was more regarding the internal, motivational, sins of mind, heart, or attitude. Job approached his duties as head of the family, as priest, as well as father, before God for his sons as he was obviously concerned for the spiritual welfare of his children. His greatest fear seems to be that his sons would sin (“miss the mark”). Like Abraham (Gen. 15:9, 10), Job filled the role of priest for the family, consecrating his children to the Lord. The famed preacher C. H. Spurgeon makes a good application for us in his classic devotional 'Morning and Evening' as follows:
“What the patriarch did early in the morning, after the family festivities, it will be well for the believer to do for himself ere he rests tonight. Amid the cheerfulness of household gatherings it is easy to slide into sinful levities, and to forget our avowed character as Christians.”
Let us also sanctify our children daily through intercessory prayer regularly as Job did for his children. This is what our study of Job’s life and habits teach us today!