The Father Who Looked to the Future
Article 6 of 13 from the Articles and Public Letters series
October 1996 – All fathers must prepare for the day when they will be gone. No one likes to think of such things, and therefore most of us don’t think enough about what will happen after we die. Yet sooner or later every father must pass off the scene and leave his family behind.
What will do you do prepare for that day? The Bible tells of a man named Jonathan who knew he wouldn’t live forever. Therefore he made his friend David (who would one day become king of Israel) swear that he would forever show kindness to his family, even after Jonathan was gone.
One wonders if he had a premonition of his bloody death on the slopes of Mount Gilboa, fighting side by side with his father Saul. He left behind a five-year-old son named Mephibosheth. When word of Jonathan’s death reached Jerusalem, the child’s nurse grabbed him and fled the capital. But in her haste she dropped the little boy and crippled his feet permanently.
After David became king, he remembered his promise to Jonathan and asked about the descendants of King Saul. When he heard about Mephibosheth he invited him to live in the palace with him. The Bible says he showed such kindness to a crippled man because of the vow he made many years earlier to his father Jonathan.
None of us will live forever and few of us will outlive our children. What are you doing to make sure your children are cared for after you are gone?
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