Fathers Day FATHERS OF WORD Four Photos of Dad’s in God’s Word: Job- Noah – Abraham – Eli
In a study conducted several years ago, sociologists Sheldon and Elanor Glueck, of Harvard University, identified several crucial factors in the development of juvenile delinquents. They created a test that can, with about 90 percent accuracy, predict future delinquency of children 5-6 years old. They listed four necessary factors in preventing juvenile deliquency. First, the father’s discipline must be firm, fair, and consistent. Second, the mother must know where her children are and what they are doing at all times, and be with them as much as possible. Third, the children need to see affection demonstrated between their parents, and from their parents to them. And fourth, the family must spend time together as a unit.
In a similar report, but from a Christian perspective, Dr. Paul D. Meier, a Christian psychiatrist, wrote that the key to right parent-child relationships can be summed up in five things: (1) parents’ love for each other and for the children; (2) discipline; (3) consistency; (4) a good parental example; and (5) a man at the head of the home.
Sounds simple, yet it is one of the most difficult tasks in life. As we focus today on dads, godly fathers of the Word, let’s do so from two perspectives: Positively – good dads (dads of the Word) will be like the positive examples. Negatively, good dads (full of the Word) won’t be like the bad guys! Okay, let’s go to the positive side first and turn to Job. Perhaps the oldest book, perhaps the clearest view into the spirit world and its conflicts.
Fathers of the Word will be like Job who interceded prayerfully for His family. Job 1:5 – WOW. Do you see how serious this dad was? Job had five objectives: o Followed: Knew what was going on in his kids’ lives “cycle” – knew daughters at home invited out to sons. o Cared: Sought their personal lives to be consecrated “sent and consecrate”, examined and cleansed. o Offered: Personally stood as priest of his family offering atoning sacrifices for sin in general. o Looked: He was not only concerned about externals, he was vitally concerned about the heart! “In hearts” o Persisted: Continually did so with spiritual persistence, “continually”.
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A Godly father in tune with the Scriptures will: o know his children deeply, personally and directly o get involved in making sure they keep pure o stands ready to seek their repentance and restoration o looks at heart attitudes o won’t stop!
So, Fathers of the Word will be like Job who was involved prayerfully with his family.
Fathers of the Word will be like Noah who warned his family. Turn to Heb. 11:7, the inspired writer condenses Gen. 6-9 into one verse. Noah: o Believed God “by faith” o Stayed in touch with God, “being warned of things”, had spiritual perception. o Obeyed God, “prepared a what? Ark?!” o Had the respect of family, “saved house”. Look at Gen. 6:9, keep finger in Hebrews. They went along with the project. o Called sin what it was and sinners who they were! o Saved by faith!
So, #2, Fathers of the Word will be like Noah who saved his family by warning with word and example! o believing God (starts) o being in communion/contact with God (continues) o obeying God (always) o living a life of integrity in world and at home o confronting the whole world of sin and standing against it, longest sermon 100 years. o ends as an heir of faith
So, Job prayed. Noah obediently warned.
Let’s see #3. A Father of God’s Word will be like Abraham who commanded his family. Again the writer of Hebrews distills Gen. 11-25 in Heb. 11:8-12.
See the commands he lived out. o 11:8 “obeyed, going”, “went out” o 11:9 “lived as alien”, “in foreign land”, “dwelling tents” – gave up civilization. o Now, v. 10, “looking for city!” What city? With foundations. o Abraham commanded his family to look beyond the passing fancies of this world system, beyond the materialism of the day (in Ur of the Chaldees). o forsake gods of this world; system: sun god, moon god o obey true and living and only God!!
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Flip back to Gen. 18:19 (finger Heb. 11). God chose him to “command his family”. Does he? o 21:1-8 obey God’s rules o 21:9-21 have genuine loving personal concern for each o 22:1-12 sacrifice all for God, even best, closest and most precious
So, then does he command them by example? Yes. o obey God’s rules o be transparent and genuine in love o lay it all (literally as in Isaac) on the altar
But let’s look at the condensed version again, Heb. 11:8-10: o God said go – he went o God said leave materialism – he did o God said give up those gods – he did o God said obey me – he did
So, fathers of God’s design will be like Abraham who commanded his family to
(1) get out of this world system headed away from God and toward judgment; (2) leave the quest for things and start seeking the only things that last — God’s kingdom; and (3) forsake those gods and bow to the living and true God!!.
Let’s get specific: There is still a world system to renounce dads. Are you doing so? o Egalitarianism (all equal) – God says equal worth, not equal responsibility; relativism (no absolutes) – God says yes! o Exploitationism (get all you can; gusto; go for it) o Hedonism (please me now!) o Materialism (life consists in multitude, quality and possession of things and privileges).
#2. There is still not only a world and its system to renounce, but a kingdom to seek! Dad, do live for things eternal: o read the Word of God o lead family o serve in church o reach out to lost
#3. There are gods to give up. Three things permeate this world: o substance abuse for gratification o sexual license for gratification
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o sounds of sin — language and music of rebellion, wickedness and occultism Hold on now. One last point – negatively: fathers of the Word won’t be like Eli who honored his boys over God (Is. 2:29). Turn to I Samuel 2 today and jot down these verses to read: Eli lacked: o 1:12 no discretion (staring at woman) o 1:13-18 no spiritual discernment (thought woman praying was drunk) o 2:29 participated in sons’ sins because he did not rebuke them o 3:13 continued to resist confronting sin in home o 4:18 personal disciplin