The Paternal Auspice
Paternal is from paternity and related to fatherhood. Auspice speaks to the divine or prophetic token (sign or symbol). In 1 Samuel 10:12, we see Saul come to a place of joining prophets to prophesy. One observer remarked “...but who is their father?” The proverb “is Saul also among the prophets?” come from this encounter, but we face a deeper question here: “but who is their father”? Fatherhood as a force must be understood in God’s scheme of doing things. God is a father. There is a natural father, a father by nurture, spiritual fatherhood etc. A spiritual father is a person’ s covering and he helps that person grow into fullness of divine promise.
To a child a father represents certain things. In both Ephesians 6:4 and 4:31, we draw conclusions that a father is a child’s source of life and belonging. The child carries his name, becomes part of generational tree and his genealogy trace. A child also sees a father as provision, a source of correction and love. A father mirrors authority and provides the affirmation and acceptance of self. Confidence comes from a father’s interaction with the child. Indeed, a father is the picture of the child’s future (a sign post for either doing or not doing etc.) In 2 Chronicles 26:4-5 we find that King Uzziah grew to do the things his father Amaziah had done but he took direction and counsel from Zechariah his spiritual father in seeking God.
Spiritually, Satan is also a father reproducing after his kind, John 8:44-45. Jesus is God, but in pursuit of his earthly assignment he must become a son. Isaiah 9:6 says that children are born but sons are given. Here we start seeing Paul’s discourse on the process of adoption into sonship. Slaves do not stay permanently but sons never leave the house. The promise and legacy of inheritance is for sons only. Hence, we reference Abraham driving away Ishmael and Hagar. Genesis 21:10 & Galatians 4:30. In the Christian walk, sonship is not an automatic guarantee. John 1:12 tells that many who believe in Christ are given the power (capacity, ability, opportunity) to become the sons of God. Paul affirms that those that are indeed led by the Spirit of God -fullness of surrender to the Holy Spirit; become the sons of God, Romans 8:14.
The parable of the prodigal son reveals that when a son takes inheritance and squanders it, the leaving makes the son “dead” till he returns to the father. The son that stays home carries the promise of inheritance but the parable remains silent on the fullness of restoration for the returning recalcitrant. In 2 Kings 4 :8-37, we discover how a woman of Shunem grows into relationship with Elisha as a spiritual father. She perceives he is a man of God, extends invitation and fetes him. She further acknowledges that they need to adopt him and position him over their lives. He becomes their spiritual covering. In the room they make above their room for him they place a bed, chair, table and lamp. These are emblematic of rest, establishment, work and illumination. By the law of recognition, what they recognize in him, shifts them from visitation to a permanent presence. In the course of time by prophetic insight a son is born to them. When years later tragedy strikes and he dies, the prophet Elisha returns and breathes the same ruach that spoke the boy into existence into his nostrils to restore his life. His role in their lives ensured that they have protection, provision, presence, peace and power.
Interestingly when Jacob is invited by sheer cunning into Egypt, the enslaved Israelites experience fruitfulness and increase. Genesis 48, when Joseph brings his sons Manasseh and Ephraim to Jacob his father, it is perhaps a subtle and latent cry for breaking free from Egypt’s grip on his soul. At the same time, per Psalm 105:17-22, we recognize that Joseph carries the increase of Israel. Jacob does what Paul reveals in Romans 8 and adopts the boys as his sons. He literally breaks the power of Egypt over Joseph and makes Manasseh (forgetfulness) and Ephraim (fruitfulness) permanent tribes in the Israelite nation. In verse 20 of Genesis 48, he gives Ephraim (ability to be fruitful) dominion over Manasseh (power to recollect the pain of the past) thus fully restoring Israel’s fruitfulness.
We discover then that spiritual fathers are important to our lives. The strength of your covering prompts the manifestation of your blessing. What we learn from Elisha and the Shunammite woman is not to poke holes in your roof. Age, familiarity etc. must not be a limit us from properly relating to a spiritual father. Miriam’s leprosy in Numbers 12:1-15 was a consequence of despising the actions of her spiritual father but also younger biological brother.
Finally, you must decide who your father is. Acknowledge your father, honor your father and serve him. Commit to your father so you can receive His spirit and eventually inherit his mantle as Elisha did with Elijah. 2 Kings 2.
Selah & Shalom.