Best and Worst Fathers of the Bible
The role of Father is the central and primary role of God
A. The central image of God is that of a Father. Islam has 99 descriptions of Allah but he never described as a father!
B. God is the Father of our spirits who loves and disciplines us like our earthly fathers:
a. “and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:5–9)
C. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)
D. DAD OVER THE YEARS
4 YEARS: My Daddy can do anything.
8 YEARS: Dad doesn't know
12 YEARS: Oh, well, naturally Father doesn't understand.
14 YEARS: Father? Hopelessly old-fashioned
21 YEARS: Oh, that man is out of date; what would you expect.
25 YEARS: He comes up with a good idea now and then.
30 YEARS: Must find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 YEARS: A little patience--let's get Dad's input first
50 YEARS: What would Dad have thought about that?
60 YEARS:I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.
E. Orphans of the Living:
We think of orphans only as the little girls and lads,
Who haven't any mothers and who haven't any dads.
They are grouped with other children and in groups they're put to bed.
With some stranger paid to listen while their little prayers are said.
All the grownups look with pity on such lonely children small,
And declare to be an orphan is the saddest fate of all.
But sometimes I look about me and with sorrow hang my head
As I gaze on something sadder than the orphans of the dead.
For more pitiful and tragic as the long days come and go,
Are the orphans of the parents they're not allowed to know.
They're the orphans of the living, left alone to romp and play,
From their fathers and their mothers by ambition shut away.
They have fathers who are busy and so weighted down with cares,
That they haven't time to listen to a little child's affairs.
They have mothers who imagine, life could give them, if it would
Something richer, something better than the joys of motherhood.
So their children learn from strangers, and by strangers' hands are fed,
And the nurse, for so much money, nightly tucks them into bed.
Lord, I would not grow so busy that I cannot drop my task,
To answer every question which that child of mine may ask.
Let me never serve ambition here so selfishly, I pray,
That I cannot stop to listen to the things my children say.
For whatever cares beset them, let them know I'm standing by.
I don't want to make them orphans till the day I come to die.
Edgar A. Guest
I. The worst fathers of the Bible:
i. Double sin #1: He multiplied horses for himself and sent people back to Egypt to get horses and married the daughter of pharaoh the first year of his reign.
ii. Double sin #2: He was forbidden to marry many Hebrew wives, but instead married 1000 non-Jewish wives.
iii. Double sin #3: It appears that Solomon not only never wrote out a copy of the law himself, neither did he read it throughout his life.
With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work.
Greatly surprised, but giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: "Look, sonny, not even your mother knows that. Don't bother me now, I'm tired."
"But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour, " the boy insisted. The father, finally giving up, replied: "Twenty dollars per hour."
"Okay, Daddy. Could you loan me ten dollars?" the boy asked.
Showing his restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: "So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Go to sleep and don't bother me anymore!"
It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he said and was feeling guilty. Maybe he thought , his son wanted to buy something. Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son's room.
"Are you asleep, son?" asked the father.
"No, Daddy. Why?" replied the boy, partially asleep.
"Here's the money asked for earlier, " the father said.
"Thanks, Daddy!" rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money.
"Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!" the boy said to his father, who was gazing at his son, confused at what his son had just said. "Daddy, could I buy you for an hour?"
II. The best fathers of the Bible:
1. Jonadab/Rechabites - A Respected Father whose children obeyed him
a. Jehonadab was first mentioned in 2 Kings 10 where he joined hands with Jehu in destroying the wicked family of Ahab. 2 Kings 10:15-16
b. Jehonadab was the son of Rechab and his descendants were known as "Rechabites."
i. Jonadab gave commands to his sons and they obeyed him, and his commands were handed down to the next generation who did likewise. Not many fathers command and obtain such respect today.
c. Notice how the Rechabites refused the wine to drink by Jeremiah. Jer. 35:1-11
d. Jeremiah used the obedience of these people to reprove the people of Judah. Jer. 35:12-14
e. God blessed the Rechabites because of their obedience to their father as an eternal covenant. Jer. 35:18-19
2. Job was involved with his children socially and prayed for them spiritually.
a. The cycle of annual family feasts were the invention of Job as a way to keep the family close together.
b. “His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.” (Job 1:4–5)
3. A Day Wasted?
Charles Francis Adams, son of U.S. President John Quincy Adams was a diplomat to Great Britain, as had been his father and grandfather. On one occasion he wrote this in his diary:
"Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted."
His son, Brooks, wrote this entry for the same day:
"Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life."
4. A SUCCESSFUL DAD
I may never be as clever,
As my neighbor down the street;
I may never be as wealthy,
As some other men I meet;
I may never have the glory,
That some other men have had;
But I've got to be successful, As a little fellow's Dad.
There are certain dreams I cherish,
That I'd like to see come true; There are things I would accomplish,
Ere my working day is through; But the task my heart is set on, Is to guide a little lad;
And to make myself successful, As that little fellow's Dad.
I may never come to glory; I may never gather gold;
Men may count me as a failure, When my business life is told; But if he who follows after, Shall be manly, I'll be glad;
For I'll know I've been successful, As that little fellow's Dad.
5. WHAT IS A FATHER?
He's strength and security, laughter and fun.
A prince to his daughter, a pal to his son.
A great story—teller and mender of toys,
Who's seldom dismayed by his family's noise.
He's an everyday Santa who brings home surprises,
The man to consult when a problem, arises.
As eager a worker as ever there'll be
Who wants all the best for his whole family.
He's a loving instructor who struggles to teach
His child to achieve all the goals one could reach.
And he knows in his heart that it's worth all the bother
When he hears his child say "That man?" "That's MY father!"
Blessed are the parents who make their peace with spilled milk and mud, for such is the kingdom of childhood.
Blessed is the parent who engages not in the comparison of his child with others, for precious unto each is the rhythm of his own growth.
Blessed are the fathers and mothers who have learned laughter, for it is the music of the child's world.
Blessed and wise are those parents who understand the goodness of time, for they make it not a sword that kills growth, but a shield to protect.
Blessed and mature are they who without anger can say no, for comforting to the child is the security of firm decisions.
Blessed is the gift of consistency, for it is heart's ease in childhood.
Blessed are they who accept the awkwardness of growth, for they are aware of the constant perilous choice between marred furnishings and damaged personalities.
Blessed are the teachable, for knowledge brings understanding, and understanding brings love.
Blessed are the men and women who, in the midst of the unpromising world, give love, for they bestow the greatest of all gifts to each other, to their children, and in an ever widening circle to their fellow men.
By Steve Rudd, Father's Day, 2013