02/09/2013 Sabbath Meeting Transcript

"The Fatherless and the Widow"

EliYah's message:

Looking forward to another installment on our series where we are going through the Torah, line by line, and digging into different things that Yahweh brings up, particularly now in Exodus 21 and 22.

We are finding a treasure trove of different things that we could really meditate quite a while on, and we are finding a number of other scriptures as well that would be very good to look at, particularly when it comes to trying to get a context in both Old and New Testaments and the different perspectives that are present in each of those.

So praise Yahweh for enabling us to come together in this unique way. I am going to share today, as we go into this next scripture in the book of Exodus-- we find that what Yahweh brings up is: The Fatherless and the Widow.

Some of us may think, "Well, back in those days women couldn't work, so the fatherless and widow were in trouble, but today, financially, they have the government stepping in giving food stamps, and you have social security now for the widow. The fatherless and widow is not really the big deal now that it was back in the old days."

If I had one word to describe that idea, and please don't be offended, but I would say-- "Bologna!" Okay? And I mean pork bologna. That is simply not true, and we are going to go into why that is not true.

And so, what I am going to share today has a lot of relevance to you, to me and to pretty much everyone watching the broadcast today. It is an area that is very close to my heart and something that grieves me deeply because I know how awful it is, and I also know how it grieves Yahweh.

And we can see how Yahweh feels about women and children when we read this:

 Exodus 22:22 - "You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.

23 - "If you afflict them in any way, [and] they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry;

24 - "and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

This is talking about men who are, either through governments or through whatever other means, afflicting the innocent-- the fatherless and widow.

If you afflict them in any way... you know, it is not fair if, let's say, a man died in a war or something happened to him and his children are fatherless and his wife is a widow and all these people go and take that to their advantage. Now here is a woman and her children who are vulnerable-- "Let's take advantage of them."

Yahweh hates that with a passion, and we see that, how much He despises that. I think we all should despise it.

We see that He has a particular hatred for those who would do such a thing. He has a heart for the children. He has a heart for the downtrodden, the widow. And this is a very consistent theme all throughout the Scriptures. Very consistent. He has an expectation, in fact, that His people would care for and look after the fatherless and the widow.

 Deuteronomy 10:17 - "For YAHWEH your Elohim [is] Elohim of gods and Master of lords, the great Elohim, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.

18 - "He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.

We talked about the stranger last week.

Some other scripture. We also covered this last week.

 Deuteronomy 24:20 - "When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

21 - "When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean [it] afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

He cares for them.

 Deuteronomy 27:19 - `Cursed [is] the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.' And all the people shall say, `Amen!'

And then we find pre-Torah, or patriarchal, time period here. Abraham's day kind of time period. We see Job mentioning how he treated the fatherless and the widow. I love this.

In Job 31:13, he says:

 Job 31:13 - "If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant When they complained against me,

14 - What then shall I do when Elohim rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him?

15 - Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?

So he is not looking at himself as being superior to the male and female servants in his household. He says the same Elohim made us all. And he says he did not despise their cause. He listened to them. And so, he listened to their complaints, to the problems that they were having.

 Job 31:16 - "If I have kept the poor from [their] desire, Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

17 - Or eaten my morsel by myself, So that the fatherless could not eat of it

18 - (But from my youth I reared him as a father, And from my mother's womb I guided [the widow] );

Now it has the widow there. It may not be the widow he is talking about. You see that the term "widow" here is in italics, and so, he may not have been talking about the widow. He may have been talking about the fatherless here. But maybe he was talking about the widow because he is talking about both in these contexts.

So, anyway, his point is, here, he says that he reared the fatherless as a father. He took care of the fatherless. He says:

 Job 31:19 - If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or any poor [man] without covering;

20 - If his heart has not blessed me, And [if] he was [not] warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

21 - If I have raised my hand against the fatherless, When I saw I had help in the gate;

 Job 31:22 - [Then] let my arm fall from my shoulder, Let my arm be torn from the socket.

23 - For destruction [from] Elohim [is] a terror to me, And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.

24 - "If I have made gold my hope, Or said to fine gold, `[You are] my confidence';

 Job 31:25 - If I have rejoiced because my wealth [was] great, And because my hand had gained much;

Didn't even rejoice over it.

 Job 31:26 - If I have observed the sun when it shines, Or the moon moving [in] brightness,

He means, of course, to worship them.

 Job 31:27 - So that my heart has been secretly enticed, And my mouth has kissed my hand;

28 - This also [would be] an iniquity [deserving of] judgment, For I would have denied Elohim [who is] above.

Now I look at this and say, you know, no wonder Job was blessed. I mean, he did not even rejoice in the wealth he had. If he ever saw a poor person going without, he used his wealth to help them. And when he saw a child who was afflicted because he had no father, what did he do?

It says here: "I reared him as a father." Treated him just like one of his children and guided him. And this is something he has done his entire life, even from his youth. He was, sure, maybe a teenager and saw some children who were fatherless and helped them along and guided them and blessed them.

And so, Job became a father to the fatherless, not just in the physical way, but also offering spiritual, emotional guidance and wisdom, filling in the gap of the fatherless in his generation. And for as long as he can remember, this was his practice.

And so, Job's passion for the fatherless and the widow was very much like Yahweh's passion. And he cares. Yahweh cares, and so, Job cares. It is a part of love. It is a part of what it is.

Now, we want to be women and men after Yahweh's own heart, right? We want to be passionate about the things that He is passionate about. And we see here, Job didn't just stop with giving necessary food or clothing, or whatever. He looked after their other needs.

So he was willing to take the leadership role even to the point of taking in fatherless children and being a father to them.

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, we really don't have a big problem with that today. I mean, with the fatherless and whatnot." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Did you know that 39% of school children, approximately 4 out of 10, live in homes that are absent of their biological fathers? Biological fathers, they don't live with. It is 4 out of 10. That is almost half of American school children.

And the number is continuing to grow, partly because people don't know how to stay married anymore, people don't know how to treat each other when they are married, and sexual immorality-- unwanted pregnancies.

Fatherlessness is an epidemic in the United Sates, especially among African American school children, where that number is up to 63%. An African American child is more likely to not have their father in their house. And so, listen to me, brothers. Children of fatherless homes are in trouble.

Did you know that children of fatherless homes are 8 times more likely to go to prison? Eight times! 5 times more likely to commit suicide, 20 times more likely to have behavioral problems, 32 times more likely to run away, 10 times more likely to abuse drugs, 9 times more likely to drop out of school, 33 times more likely to be seriously abused.

And this one gets me-- 73 times more likely to be fatally abused. That means killed in the abuse. And 75% of American children living in single-parent homes will experience poverty before they turn 11 years of age. Do we see how important the role of a father really is?

Do we see some reasons why Yahweh is so passionate about the fatherless and the widow? And we will get to the widow more later.

We know that Yahweh cares for all of us, of course, but we see He pays a particular amount of attention to the fatherless and the widow all throughout Scripture.

Fatherless children, even in our society today, are lacking protection. That is why they are being abused and fatally abused.

How many times do we read a story, some woman's boyfriend killed her little child? How many times have I read that? I don't know how many times. Dozens of times I have read of stories like that, because the men are not their fathers. They don't care. They care about the woman.

And most of the time, they don't really care about the woman, either, otherwise they wouldn't do that to their daughter or to their son.

But listen, the saddest and sickest thing is that in most cases children in our society are not fatherless because the dad died.

The children in our society are fatherless because fathers are shirking their responsibilities or because they are in prison or because they have divorced and an unjust legal system that keeps children from being able to spend adequate time with their fathers.

And so, for those of you men who are listening to the broadcast (I know you are out there) and you are in a situation like that, listen, my heart goes out to you. Yahweh's heart goes out to you. I know your heart has been ripped out of your chest. And actually, I have a scripture for you.

 Psalms 146:9 - YAHWEH watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.

And Psalm 68, verse 4:

 Psalms 68:4 - Sing to Elohim, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, By His name YAH, And rejoice before Him.

5 - A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, [Is] Elohim in His holy habitation.

I like that. So, He promises to be a father to your children if your children were taken away.

But for the men who are listening to the broadcast and you don't have custody because you really don't want to or you don't bother to take them when you do have the opportunity for visits.

Or if you have visitations rights and you are not bothering to get involved in the lives of your children and spend time with them and be a father to them-- physically, emotionally, spiritually-- I only have one scripture for you.

 1Timothy 5:8 - But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Now, I didn't write the mail here, and I know I am being harsh, but I have to be harsh because I am a minister of the Word, and the Word is very harsh. And we are not just talking physical provision here, although I think that is included, but the role of a father is not just physical provision.

In fact, I would say it is the least important of the three because if you are not there for your children physically, if for some reason they don't have enough food unless they paid it, which it wouldn't happen in the United States, but suppose they died of starvation? Okay, they died of starvation.

But if a father is not willing to be there for his son, for his daughter, and he is putting these, whatever, other things ahead of them, he is not willing to spend time with them and teach them and share with them and love them and direct them and be, spiritually, one who leads them.

And they end up growing up having never known Elohim the way they should know Elohim and having never had that security of a father in their life, woe is us if we do that.

And so, I am calling all of us men, including me, to be sure that even if you have your children in your home, that we are being a father to our children. And again, I am not just saying be fathers in the physical sense-- you happen to be there, but you are not there.

We have a certain responsibility to be there in many different ways, not just the physical presence. And I am talking to myself, also. You know, I happen to work at home. I am there 100% of the time. But I can be there and still not be there.

And we also have a responsibility to not just be a father to our own children, but also, like Job, step in. And when we see the fatherless in our communities, in our neighborhoods, that we are willing to do what we can, do what we are able to do to be that father figure to them, that is a responsibility.

And I can show you that not just in the book of Job we see this. But since we understand that caring for the fatherless goes beyond the physical, read the scripture here with me in Isaiah chapter 1. It says:

 Isaiah 1:10 - Hear the word of YAHWEH, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our Elohim, You people of Gomorrah:

Okay, that is us, right? I mean, that is our nation that we live in: Sodom and Gomorrah. I am not saying we are the leaders. But actually, in many ways, we ought to be-- in a spiritual sense.

 Isaiah 1:11 - "To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" Says YAHWEH. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats.

"Why even bother?" he wants to know.

 Isaiah 1:12 - "When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts?

He is very offended at them. He doesn't want anything to do with their sacrifices. He says, "I don't require that of you." He says, "Who required it from you? Here you are trampling on my courts. Who asked you to come to my house? I am not inviting you to my house."

He is offended at them. He is very offended. For what reason is He offended? What is He so upset by? Let's continue reading.

 Isaiah 1:13 - Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies -- I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.

And so, Yahweh cannot stand it when we gather for Sabbaths, and whatever, and there is all this sin going on, and we are all, "We lift our hands and sacrificial offerings of praise," right? And we are saying, "Yahweh, how wonderful You are. We praise You. We give You glory." And then, there is some kind of sin going on. That greatly offends Him.

What sin is that in ancient Israel? He says:

 Isaiah 1:14 - Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing [them].

15 - When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.

Hmm... blood. What is going on?

 Isaiah 1:16 - "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,

17 - Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

He is holding them accountable to be in the place of a father who normally would defend his children. Against what? Enemies. People who would afflict them. He expects the men of Israel to fill in the gap. He expected the men of Israel to care for those who had no father, the women who had no husbands.

He expected other men to come in and fill in the gap. And if they did not... and this is not the only thing they did wrong, but I am saying, this was so offensive to Him, He could not stand their Feast Days... and so, He says:

 Isaiah 1:23 - Your princes [are] rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.

Now, I know this is talking to Israel of old. Yahweh is not against Festivals. He is not against gathering for the Sabbath. He is not against giving offerings of praise (or in that case, sacrificial offerings). But it doesn't do any good to tell Yahweh how glorious He is and He is worthy and all these things if we have this major sin going on.

Again, this is something very close to His heart. And what about our own children, our own families? Are our children on the road to destruction? If they are young, it may not show up right away, but are we being there as a father to our children? Do we spend that time with them in the Word of Yahweh?

Do we make sure that when they make the choice as to whether they are going to serve Yahweh when they are older that we have given them the full council of Elohim? And our wives, also?

I mean, all the Sabbaths and calling of assemblies and all these things, it can be a burden to Him if we are not being faithful in these areas as men. That is the principle I am seeing here.

And He is expecting them to step in to defend the fatherless. And these are other men's children. If they were not there, they probably died in war or some other reason. And the wives of other men, the widow, is there by herself trying to care for children. Single mothers here. And this is other men's children. How much more so our own children?

Now this is not the only reason He hated their Feasts, but it is one reason. And to me, those are very strong, convicting words.

And we see this over and over.

 Psalms 82:2 - How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah

3 - Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.

 Psalms 10:17 - YAHWEH, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,

18 - To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

 Jeremiah 5:27 - As a cage is full of birds, So their houses [are] full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich.

28 - They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper, And the right of the needy they do not defend.

 Ezekiel 22:6 - "Look, the princes of Israel: each one has used his power to shed blood in you.

7 - "In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow.

He brings this up over and over again.

 Zechariah 7:9 - "Thus says YAHWEH of hosts: `Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother.

10 - Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.'

11 - "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.

 Zechariah 7:12 - "Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which YAHWEH of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from YAHWEH of hosts.

13 - "Therefore it happened, [that] just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen," says YAHWEH of hosts.

If you don't want to listen to Him, He doesn't want to listen to you either. It kind of works both ways, doesn't it?

What is the cause of the fatherless? The cause of the fatherless is: "I'm needy. I need a father. I need that father figure in my life. I need provision. I need protection." That is the cause of the fatherless.

And young men especially suffer from a lack of fatherhood. Young men who grow up without a good father to guide them, they enter into adulthood completely lost in many cases.

And even in homes where there is a father, we men don't really know how to be fathers. And I am stumbling along myself learning how to be a father.

And so, we have raised entire generations of young males who do not know how to be men, and many of them feel completely lost.

And the ones who do have fathers, if the fathers are abusive... I heard on a radio broadcast one time, there was a man who worked in prison ministry. He did it for like twelve years, or something.

And he said, "I have never met one hardened criminal (that admitted he was there for having committed crimes), I have never met one that had a good relationship with their father. Not one."

And so, we have an entire generation of young men who do not know how to be men. And sometimes we will see this-- young women are outperforming young men in almost every important statistical category. More of them are graduating from college and getting better grades and having less behavioral problems.

You know, in the old days our young men would gather in the streets and play together (ball games, or whatever) after school, and that was not really the most ideal thing, but it was something to do in the evenings.

But now they are content just to sit in front of a video game machine and feed their addictions to those. And you have these pseudo goals. They can pretend like they are world class football stars or world class warriors or they are world class Olympians. None of it is even true. It is all fake.

And so, these substitute goals come in rather than real goals. And when they grow up, they have no desire to take on real responsibility. They want to have, oh, lots of fornication, and so on, but they are not interested in marriage, not interested in a real commitment.

And many of them will just kind of stay home and never really bother to go out and pursue goals, pursue careers, so they can provide a home for themselves and their future families. These ones who are supposed to be leaders of tomorrow are instead a major burden on society.

They call this the "Peter Pan Generation"-- boys who never grew up to be men. They call them "adultolescents," and it is an epidemic in the United States.

Many young men have very little understanding of what manhood is, and our society has taught them morality doesn't matter. Instead, television and movies portray young men as fornication-obsessed slackers. They just want to party all the time. And so, that's what many of our young men have become. They have no role model other than what they see on TV.

Today, women being assertive and taking their leadership role is praised in society, while the idea of men leading has become synonymous with oppression and old fashioned values. And so, society has not taught men to appreciate manhood at all. Instead it has taught men to be ashamed of it.

And to me, that is a tragedy because men won't feel motivated to lead or be productive, and they go around fathering children, and they don't provide for them, and they are not there for them. And those that do provide financially, forsake them in other areas.

And so, to me, this is a major problem in our society. Major problem. When you have 4 out of 10 school children who are missing a father, that is a major problem.

Look in your neighborhoods then. What can we do? What can we do as believers in Yahweh? Do we have any responsibility in this? What I read in Isaiah chapter 1, what I read in other scriptures is, unequivocally, no question about it-- Yes, absolutely!

We have a responsibility. Don't shirk that off onto the government. We are, spiritually speaking, the leaders of this world we live in because Messiah dwells in us, and He is the King of Kings. We need to be the ones to step in, to fill in the gap and be a father to the fatherless.

And so, look in your neighborhoods, look in your communities, look in your circle of friends. Do you know of any widows, anyone in your neighborhood? Hunt them down and find ways to bless them. Be their handyman, especially the elderly widows.

How about children who are starving for a fatherly influence in their lives? Do you know any personally?

You know, I got to looking into the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. There is a study done that monitored 950 boys and girls who were a part of this organization. They were randomly chosen, and half of them were randomly chosen to be matched to a big brother or big sister. The other half were boys and girls who were on the waiting list.

And according to the study, the children who had a big brother or a big sister only three times a month (three times a month!) were 46% less likely to use drugs, 27% less likely to use alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip a class and 33% less likely to hit somebody.

They also found that the little brothers and little sisters were more confidant of their performances in schoolwork and got along better with their families. That is three visits a month! And this is over a period of just what? A year... or eighteen months... they did the study.

A couple of weeks ago, as I was researching this topic, I called the local chapter of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Now, they are not the perfect organization, but they can connect you with somebody.

And I called them, and do you believe they had 65 boys on the waiting list looking to be matched with men who were willing to step up to the plate and be a father figure to the fatherless children, or in some cases, just an older brother, a teenager who has it together?

I mean, some of the dads of these boys were in prison, some were being raised by grandparents because they were being neglected, others in foster care. There were different things, different situations. And there were 65 boys, just in Springfield, on the waiting list.

Now with the girls, the opposite was true. I found this to be fascinating. The little sisters were matched to big sisters. Every single one of them had a match. All the little sisters had a match, and the waiting list was on the opposite side. There were 25 women waiting to be big sisters on a waiting list. And so, what do we see here?

Obviously, the men are not stepping up. And there are reasons for that, societally and otherwise.

And I talked to the lady there. She said this is the way it is all throughout the United States. This is consistent all the way across the board. There are little boys waiting to be matched to men, and there are women who are just waiting to be matched to little sisters.

And so, brothers, if you can't find anybody, you don't have an excuse. They can connect you with someone. I am not saying you have to be one of their volunteers, but you know, you see here the positive impact that a father figure can have on the lives of children. And that is just over eighteen months at three visits a month.

Well, what if it were more frequently than that? Maybe we could be ones who bring salvation to a household because of that. And mothers, also, can do this.

But offering to bless the little ones with some mentorship could have a very powerful impact on their lives. What did Yahushua say?

 Matthew 10:42 - "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold [water] in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

Just give them a glass of water? Yahweh in heaven is going, "Okay, I am going to reward that." Do we see His passion? Are you getting this?

Now where did all this societal decline begin? What happened? What happened to our families, brothers? What happened?

Well, families in the early 1800's were all together-- Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister. They were all together, all one big family, and spent most of their time together. Yes, dads would go out and work, but then they would take the little boys off, and they would go work together. And so, they would go. They would work.

And then the little sister, the little girl, would be there with her mom, and the boy would be there with his dad. And the dad would teach the son how to be a man. But then what happened?

We had something called the "Industrial Revolution" happening in the mid to late 1800's/1900's. The Industrial Revolution came along. Now we have Dad-- he has to go off and work somewhere.

And because we have Dad going off to work and he is finding he can make more money that way and have a more secure future for his family that way, he can rely on big corporations to give him the money that he needs and he is increasing his skills and now he wants his son to excel him even-- he will send his children off to school.

Instead of father and mother being the primary educator in their children's lives, now we have other people stepping in and being the educator. And what does that do?

That leaves Mom here all by herself, right? So what does she want to do? We already know. She is going to find herself a job. Too bored sitting at home.

So now we have Dad over here (work), we have children over here (school), we have Mom over here (work), and we don't have anybody together for a good part of every day, except maybe the weekends.

And at least in the early part of Industrial America, twelve hour work days were pretty much expected, and later government kind of stepped in and put a limit on that.

But you know, the two World Wars hit and there was this need for workers. Mom grows discontent with being home and Dad is out to war and the children are in school. And so, the divorce rate is climbing with all this division. Divorced women are finding the job market, and women are growing increasingly distrustful of the security of their marriage.

They want to go be somebody rather than just sit at home with their kids, as they would say.

And they don't feel secure in the fact that a marriage will remain a marriage. And so, off they go. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, right? Whatever. So, off to work they go. Now it is "I owe."

I want to read a quote here from a politician (I am not going to name the person who it is, yet, [the politician]) just to show you something here, to point out something that has happened to America.

The politician said: "We must now say proudly and without any exaggeration that apart from (I am not going to name the country, yet) there is not a country in the world where women enjoy full equality and where women are not placed in the humiliating position felt particularly in day-to-day family life.

"This is one of our first and most important tasks... Housework is the most unproductive, the most barbarous and the most arduous work a woman can do. It is exceptionally petty and does not include anything that would in any way promote the development of the woman.

"This will begin only when we have achieved the complete equality of women and when we undertake the new work together with women who have been emancipated from that petty, stultifying, unproductive work... We are setting up model institutions, dining rooms and nurseries, that will emancipate women from housework."

Of course, little children will be emancipated from their mommies, right?

"These institutions that liberate women from their position as household slaves are springing up where it is in any way possible... Our task is to make politics available to every working woman.

"The chief thing is to get women to take part in socially productive labor, to liberate them from 'domestic slavery,' to free them from their stupefying [idiotic] and humiliating subjugation to the eternal drudgery of the kitchen and the nursery."

Who said this?

"This struggle will be a long one, and it demands a radical reconstruction, both of social technique and of morale. But it will end in the complete triumph of... Communism."

Who said this? Vladimir Lenin, the Leader of Communist Russia in the 1920's. You might think it is Barak Obama or something.

But my point is this: America has bitten this bad apple. The idea that Lenin had was not necessarily motivated in the good of the woman. They wanted double the work force so they could continue the monstrosity this machine that communist was.

And so, with this separation now of the family unit, a void is left. Who became the parents of those little children that were sent to school, that were sent to nurseries? Who became the parents? The State. The State became the parents rather than the mommies and daddies being the parents.

And so, who had the primary influence in the lives of those little children who had been forsaken by their mommies and daddies? The State. Does this all sound familiar? I think it ought to.

And so, with this separation the void is left. The parents now have competition-- teachers of public schools, day care centers, nurseries, and the like-- all of this competition for influencing the lives and hearts and minds of children.

So by the time a child is in his teen years, the father and mother are no longer the primary influence in a child's life. The void that the parents left is now filled by others, and the parents scratch their heads wondering what went wrong.

I am not saying that parents cannot overcome this challenge even if both parents work. They can overcome the challenge, but what I am saying is the way our society is set up, it is very hostile to families who want to be close and parents who want to be the primary influence in the lives of their children. And that is a problem.

I am not putting down anybody. Just think about this, please.

In Titus chapter 2, verse 3-- this was Yahweh's instruction to the first century assembly.

 Titus 2:3 - the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things --

4 - that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

See, there was an expectation the older women would teach the younger women.

 Titus 2:5 - [to be] discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of Elohim may not be blasphemed.

(Homemakers. Keepers of the home. A "domestic" is what it reads in the Greek there.)

Whoa! The last thing we want to do is blaspheme the Word.

And so, the standard that is given here in the Scriptures is that the older women stepped up to the plate also. They might be a widow. They might be older and have a husband, but they are expected to step up to the plate and be an example to the younger in these areas.

I didn't write the mail. Yahweh wrote the mail. This is what the Scripture says.

Now I am not trying to blame women for anything or say they are evil if they are trying to be financially stable because of the high rate of divorce or because of mistreatment. Women are afraid to be vulnerable now because of lazy, gluttonous, philandering men in our society. And so, the problem is on both sides.

But I want to point out what the Industrial Revolution did to the family. It created slaves out of men and divided up the family. No longer is the father teaching his son.

Now there are exceptions to that. I am not trying to wipe everything with one big, broad brush. But with the continuation of "progress," is this really progress? I mean, is it really progress when the family is divided up like this? Is that progress? I don't think so.

But with the continuation of what is called "progress"-- the invention of the television-- the family got back together in the evening, right?

Enter the television. Oh, they used to spend time at the dinner table and talk and relate and take advantage of what little time they had left in the evenings together.

Now they have T.V. dinners, and they sit in front of the "blue screen of death" for several hours in the evening and watch T.V. Well, okay. There they are-- watching T.V.

Well, maybe the T.V. wasn't so harmful at first, but it began to slowly and surely corrupt the hearts of parents and children. And it also means, instead of a family sitting down and interacting together, now we have families that are just staring at the same screen talking about it.

Do you ever go to someone's house, and like, you want to talk to them and relate with them and they have the T.V., staring at the T.V., and you are like over here somewhere and the T.V. is going? It is like competition for your attention or something?

All right. So, the T.V. Well, they are at least all watching the T.V. together, but then what happens? What happens is now we have computers and Internet, or dads are working long hours and they get home and sit at the computer.

And then you have the two children. They are off somewhere else in the evenings. Maybe the boy is doing a video game or playing sports here. And the daughter is there on the computer, you know, on Facebook, or whatever, or she is on the phone, her little cell phone she has.

And maybe the mom is still there watching T.V., or maybe she goes off and finds a job in the evenings. You know, it is kind of lonely being there by herself. Or maybe she is on her own laptop somewhere.

Do we see a problem here? I smell a rat. Do you smell a rat? I smell it. I think this is the hand of the enemy. I really do. Listen, I have been guilty of spending too much time on a computer, so I am not speaking to you from my high perch.

I am looking at what has happened here besides all that. I mean, how harmful the video games are and how harmful the stuff that is on the computer is now.

And then the television. If one of these happens to go sit in front of a T.V., you have the corruption of the hearts and minds of parents and children as they sit down in front of the programming every evening (and that is exactly what it is-- it is programming) and through the channeling.

You know a magician's wand is made out of hollywood? So, Hollywood casts their spells through channeling and then they program people. Then they can make you sit there spellbound for hours while you listen to their doctrines, right?

And it is all packaged. All the sin that they shove in front of your face is all packaged to look as appealing and pretty and with the most persuasive music and the most persuasive personalities that millions of dollars can buy. Where there is a void of fathers, something else takes its place.

And the television has contributed to the breakdown of communities, also, because we have instead of kids playing together in the evenings, or whatever, now they are all in the houses. You don't even know your next door neighbor. Why? He is over there watching T.V. every night. That is all he does.

He is in the house. Practically everything he does is right there inside the house. He never comes out and sits on the front porch to enjoy the evening, maybe socialize with neighbors. No, that doesn't happen anymore.

Now I realize this here is not every family, but we see these little portable electronic devices. Do you ever go and sit and try to have a conversation with someone? They used to kind of twiddle their thumbs, you know? Now they have these little things-- "Yeah... uh huh... yeah..." I have been guilty of that, too.

And so, we are losing social skills. We are losing it. We don't know how to be fathers anymore.

You know, I used to raise chickens. I don't anymore. I used to raise lots and lots and lots of chickens. Hundreds of chickens. There are certain chicken breeds that there are so many generations that have been in an incubator that they don't know how to be a hen anymore.

And so, they have this clutch of eggs and they are like, "I think I remember I am supposed to do something with this. I don't know what it was." And they go sit on a clutch of eggs for two weeks. They are supposed to sit for three weeks. And they get up and walk away and all their chickens die.

That is sort of like us. We don't know how to be fathers and mothers anymore. Not getting enough practice in, I guess. Our parents were not always the best, either.

And so, we have lost what it means to be a family, and we see this breakdown of the family unit happening with the invention of more and more technologies. And we see how society is so hostile to the biblical idea of what a family should be.

What is a biblical idea of what the family should be? Yahweh says:

 Deuteronomy 6:7 - "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Now how can you do that, pray tell, if you are not even home, or if you are not even together when you are home? How can you do that? How can you do it when you rise up, when you lie down, when you walk by the way, when you sit in your house? How are you going to do it?

Yahweh wants to be the primary influence in your children's lives, and we have a duty as parents to make sure we are making Him their primary influence.

And I thank Yahweh for the Sabbath Day. I thank Yahweh for it because the Sabbath is an opportunity for us to come together and do that, but you notice here, we are supposed to do that every day, not just on the Sabbath. And so, how can we do that if we are all separated?

And so, listen. I am not an elder. I am not telling you what to do. But I just think it is an awesome thing if fathers can find a way to work from home.

You know, pray first. Make sure it is Yahweh's leading. But I think it is an awesome life. I have been home now for the last 13-14 years. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But listen, what does this have to do with fatherlessness? This has everything to do with it because our children can be fatherless even without a divorce, even when the father is still home. Even if the father works at home if the father doesn't spend enough quality time with his children and teaching them.

And our wives can be spiritual widows. Have you ever heard of the "Internet widow"? There have been times I have made my wife an Internet widow. The ministry, work, and everything I do is on the Internet. So, I have to control myself in that.

And listen, I am not preaching to you. I am talking to myself, too. But men who do work away from home, what do you do when you come home from work that is so important? Are your children still fatherless after they have been fatherless all day long even though you live in the same house?

We need to realize how hostile this world is to families and respond appropriately. Yahweh is very passionate about the importance of fatherhood, and we need to be also.

About ten years ago my family and I were sitting at the table together, and I was sharing with them how important it was for me to teach them the awesome works of Yahweh, and I said, "You know, it is just like what it says in Psalm 78." And I flipped open my Bible. I didn't even have to turn a page and there it was-- Psalm 78.

My eyes fell right on Psalm 78. And then my wife, she opened up her Bible. I don't know what the order was here, but my wife opened up her Bible and flipped it opened and there was Psalm 78. We both had the exact same thing happen. And then my son did it. And the exact same thing happened to him.

And my daughter did it, Kara. The same thing happened to her. We all just flipped open the Bible and there it was-- Psalm 78. And we wrote that down in our Bibles what had happened that day. It was 2003, March 30th. I remember. (That is the pagan reckoning.)

Was Yahweh with me that day sort of confirming what I was saying? I think so.

 Psalms 78:1 - <> Give ear, O my people, [to] my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2 - I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,

3 - Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.

 Psalms 78:4 - We will not hide [them] from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of YAHWEH, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.

5 - For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;

 Psalms 78:6 - That the generation to come might know [them], The children [who] would be born, [That] they may arise and declare [them] to their children,

7 - That they may set their hope in Elohim, And not forget the works of Elohim, But keep His commandments;

8 - And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation [that] did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to Elohim.

That is the scripture Yahweh wanted me to share with my family that day. And to me that was... I mean, you couldn't explain that in the natural. That was completely miraculous.

And there have been other things that have happened like that. One time I was thinking about, "I need to tell my children about the Song of Moshe..." My daughter, Michelle, asked me, "What is the Song of Moshe and the Song of the Lamb?" because she had asked me what my favorite song was. I said, "Well, it is the Song of Moshe and the Song of the Lamb."

She goes, "What is that?" And I said, "Well, I will tell you about it sometime," because we were in town. And a few days later my little daughter, Leanna, walks over to me. "Daddy, read me this page out of the Bible." She couldn't read at the time, and they like it when I read them the Bible. "Daddy, read me this page out of the Bible."

"Okay," and my eyes fell right on that verse about the Song of Moshe and the Song of the Lamb. I was floored. You know, Yahweh will be our partner in this.

And they are adopted. They were fatherless. He cares for the fatherless children, and I look at that and I just say, "Wow!"

And so, we can be a father to the fatherless, whether by adoption or by caring for those around us. Some of those little boys just need a friend. And we see this even in the New Testament.

Paul is talking to Timothy. And what does he call Timothy?

 2Timothy 2:1 - You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Messiah Yahushua.

My son. He really wasn't Paul's son.

 2Timothy 2:2 - And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

3 - You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Yahushua Messiah.

He is admonishing him. He is stepping in the role as a father. Why?

We see in Acts 16:1. He says:

 Acts 16:1 - Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, [the] son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father [was] Greek.

Apparently not a believer.

And so, we see him writing in 2 Timothy chapter 1, verse 3. He says:

 2Timothy 1:3 - I thank Elohim, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as [my] forefathers [did], as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

4 - greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,

5 - when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

I always laugh at this because I happen to have a grandmother named Lois, and she is a believer and helped me to see the truth of Yahweh.

And so, Timothy had this grandmother named Lois, and she was instilling in him as from a child the holy Scriptures. But there is this father being a Greek (I don't know, a pagan, or whatever), so Paul just kind of steps in and becomes a father figure, figuratively speaking here, to Timothy.

And we see other instances like that. We see (John 13:33) Yahushua kind of took all of His disciples in and calls them "little children."

 John 13:33 - "Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, `Where I am going, you cannot come,' so now I say to you.

He is calling them little children. You might think it is a little demeaning to be called "little children," but to them it was a term of endearment, a term of affection, and even a complement.

Because if we are as little children:

 Matthew 18:1 - At that time the disciples came to Yahushua, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

Who is the greatest?

 Matthew 18:2 - Then Yahushua called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,

3 - and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

 Matthew 18:4 - "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

You have to be humble. He likes the humility of a child. Too many children today are arrogant.

 Matthew 18:5 - "Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

If you just receive one. It is like you brought in Messiah Himself.

 Matthew 18:6 - "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Wow! We see Yahweh's passion for children in the words of Messiah. He does not mince words when it comes to Yahweh's plans to destroy those who offend and hurt children. It is a quick ticket to the lake of fire.

And so, the message from the Old Testament, from what is called the Old Testament, and to what is called the New Testament, is pretty consistent. And He even says:

 Matthew 18:10 - "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

Don't even despise them.

 Matthew 18:11 - "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

We each have an angel.

He knew if a believer were to despise children and the children would feel rejected by the believer, He would have a harder time trying to save that child that had become lost. See a connection?

When Yahushua saw that they were turning away the children, what did He say?

 Mark 10:14 - But when Yahushua saw [it], He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of Elohim.

 Mark 9:37 - "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me."

You know, a lot of blessings and cursings in our own life may indeed come from how we choose to treat children, especially our own children.

Now, what if you are a child and you are watching the broadcast today? I want to talk to you for a minute. Hello, little children. I want to talk to you for a minute. Hopefully, a few ears have perked up.

If you are a little one, a little child, do you see how Yahweh values you? Maybe if you are a teenager listening to the broadcast today, I hope you understand how much Yahweh really does care about you. If you have been hurt by caregivers or by others, I hope you know, Yahweh does care.

We live in a world where Yahweh has given man the ability to choose right or to choose wrong, to choose love or to choose hate. That is because He did not make us robots and machines that have no choice but to love. So adults have a choice as to whether they are going to love children or not love children.

But if they choose to not love children, the Scriptures say:

 Ecclesiastes 12:14 - For Elohim will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.

And some people, maybe some teenagers watching the broadcast, don't understand why a good Elohim in heaven would allow evil to exist in the world, why Yahweh would allow people to hurt each other and abuse each other. Well, maybe the question is: Why does He allow us (all of us have failed in that area) to hurt each other?

But you see, if Yahweh did not really give man a choice, if He did not give Adam and Eve and all of us a choice to love, it wouldn't really be love, would it?

I mean, can a machine love you? I mean, a puppet on a string? Can it love you? I mean, if Yahweh forced everybody in the world to love, it wouldn't really be love at all. It would just be His creation doing what it is programmed to do and controlled into doing.

But that is why there is evil in the world. Because if He forced everyone to love, then those who did love would just be like little computers going around or robots doing what they are programmed to do. And there wouldn't really be love anyway.

And so, love for it to be love, for it to be real love, has to be a love out of choice with nobody forcing us to do it. And Yahweh wants all of us to love.

Just because Yahweh does not stop all the abuses and evil in the world does not mean He doesn't care about us. He never promises us that others won't hurt us, but He does promise us that if we choose to love Him, He will be there for us. He will help us deal with the lack of love that is in the world.

Because you see, Messiah Himself went through excruciating pain and He was hated and He was rejected by men. He was a man of sorrows. He was acquainted with grief. And the people of His generation hid their faces from Him.

 Isaiah 53:3 - He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, [our] faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

We did not consider Him to be anything. Talking about the people in His generation. And we see people of our generation, also, the time we live in, acting the same way toward Messiah.

But Messiah was more than murdered. He was physically abused with unimaginable pain. And so, He knows exactly what we are going through if others happen to hurt us, and He can totally relate.

And do you know what? He promises He will be a father to the fatherless.

 Psalms 68:5 - A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, [Is] Elohim in His holy habitation.

And so, if you are looking for someone who cares, look to our Father in heaven. If you are looking for a faithful father, look to our heavenly Father.

 Psalms 146:9 - YAHWEH watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.

And so, how can Yahweh be our Father? You know, good fathers provide wise leadership and council. Good fathers teach us how to live our lives in a way that will be a way of blessing. Good fathers will give provision. He will provide for us.

And so, if you want to be acquainted and you want to know a good father, get to know the heavenly Father that is in the Bible, who sees you at all times and understands your ways. Place His words in your heart, and let His words, the Bible, let that be your council. Let that be what guides you in everything.

And as you delight in Yahweh's Word, Yahweh will delight in you. He will become your provider, your protector and your source of strength when others make wrong choices to hurt you. And since we are His children, He will cause all the evil that happens to us to ultimately turn out for our good because Romans 8:28 says:

 Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.

Now, if we don't love Elohim (we have to love Elohim), if we don't love Him, if we don't care about Him, if we don't like His words, if we don't want anything to do with Him, don't expect all your situations that you are in to turn out for your good. But if we do, we have a promise here.

If we refuse to answer the call, then, well, we are just going to be found guilty of sin, just like most other people in the world. And we will find ourselves in the same lake of fire that those who hurt us will go unless they repent.

You see, Messiah was willing to take the punishment that we deserved for the sins that we have all committed, sins that we are all guilty of, so that we could be with Yahweh forever and live eternally.

I want to say, also, those who have hurt you, and we have all experienced some hurt from others, Yahushua says bless them anyway.

 Luke 6:28 - "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

Our goal is that everyone who does wrong would turn away from it. Our goal is that they would stop walking in hate so that they will stop hurting other people and they will walk in love so that nobody else will get hurt and they may come to their senses. Sin is a human condition we are all guilty of.

But if we understand that Yahweh wants to be our father if we have no father, and if we understand, maybe some of the women here have lost husbands, by divorce or by their passing-- do we understand, ladies, Messiah wants to be your husband?

 1Corinthians 7:34 - There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of YAHWEH, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world -- how she may please [her] husband.

35 - And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve YAHWEH without distraction.

You have an opportunity to experience a closeness with the Messiah that those who are married may not fully experience. Now, it is not wrong to be married, of course, but if you are single, take the opportunity that is given to you. Young girls who are single, teenagers growing up and getting older, I encourage you, seize the moment.

Build your life on a secure foundation, a foundation that has a relationship with the Messiah, so that when you get married and your husband fails you in some way, and he will because he is capable of falling, also (he won't be perfect, believe it or not), but if and when he fails you, you can look to Messiah and say, "I still have a faithful husband."

And find comfort and not feel like you need to react in the flesh.

Now, I want to wrap up here by speaking briefly about how Yahweh desires us to look after the widows. Here in the United States we have a Social Security system, we have Medicare, which are there to make sure widows and the elderly are provided for.

And I have wondered, maybe that is one of the reasons why our nation has been so blessed financially in the last 100 years, or so... 80 or 90 years... because the government does provide for the elderly.

But you know, the only thing the government can do is hand them a pile of money. The government can't be your companion. It can't be your friend. It is not going to teach you anything. The government is not going to teach the widows of the world they need a Savior.

And I find it a great tragedy that so many widows today are the forgotten members of our society, especially the older ones tucked away in nursing homes. There they are in the last throes of their life, sitting in an institution and waiting to die. That is miserable.

I am sure that is how the devil would have it to keep anyone from noticing them, to keep anyone from remembering them, because many of them are bitter. Their children stuck them in a nursing home. They didn't want to be there, and they are mad and they are bitter and they are angry and they need to hear the good news of salvation.

They need to hear about a Husband who is faithful-- Messiah.

But you know, the first century believers, they did not forget the widows.

 James 1:27 - Pure and undefiled religion before Elohim and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

That means unstained from the world. Just visit the orphans and widows. Just visit them, and you have pure and undefiled religion. I don't like the word "religion," but that is what the verse says. Your faith will be pure. It will show you have a heart of love and a hatred for the things of this world.

We see an example, also, in Acts chapter 6. It says:

 Acts 6:1 - Now in those days, when [the number of] the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.

So, here the widows are being neglected. And what happens? The believers in Messiah see what is going on. "There are widows being neglected? Oh, let's step in and help."

 Acts 6:2 - Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of Elohim and serve tables.

3 - "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of [good] reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;

4 - "but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."

 Acts 6:5 - And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,

6 - whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

7 - Then the word of Elohim spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

And so, Yahweh started to bless them even more as the Word of Elohim spread.

 Acts 6:8 - And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.

9 - Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.

10 - And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.

And so, the man, Stephen, the one who was directed by the congregation to care for the widows, became a mighty warrior for Yahweh.

I am pointing this out because I really think that it is something that we ought to be doing as believers. You know, I have an alms fund for helping those who are physically in need of things. You can contribute to the alms fund, and I would distribute it to those who have need.

But you know, there is more than the physical. We want to make sure we cover the physical. We need to make sure that is covered, but we see here-- visit them. Visit the orphans, the fatherless. Visit them. Take note of them. Care about them.

Be like Job, who said, "But from my youth I reared him as a father," and so, to help the fatherless and the widow in a way that money never will do.

And so, I am calling the body of Messiah accountable because Yahweh holds us accountable, to become passionate about the things Yahweh Himself is passionate about. And we see He is very passionate about caring for women and caring for children who lack a fatherly and a husbandly influence and the care and protection and provision of a man.

I think it is high time that we be in the lead when it comes to these things, showing the world that we have the love and passion of Messiah within us. Do you realize when you start serving and blessing the fatherless and the widow what that does to their hearts? It shows them that Messiah cares about them.

And they may be unbelievers, but if you keep blessing them? Then we all turn to Yahweh because we realize He loved us. He loved us first.

And so, a passion and a love for the downtrodden, a care and concern for the hurting among us, a loving and merciful and caring people-- all of our Feast Days and Sabbath keeping, that is all well and good-- but if we are neglecting these other areas? Shame on us!

May Yahweh help us to minister to them and care for them. May Yahweh give us His heart in this matter. And as we do so, my brothers and sisters, may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.

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