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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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Because God Says So
Judges 2:6-12

Romans 1:28-32

Intro.
The father of five children had won a toy at a raffle. He called his kids together to ask which of them should have the present. "Who is the most obedient?" he asked. "Who never talks back to mother? Who does everything she says?" Five small voices answered in unison. "Okay, dad, you get the toy."

Today is the day that we honor fathers. I think that sounds wonderful since I am a father and I have a wonderful father.  In all seriousness, we are to honor our fathers, and our mothers every day not just this day or on Mother’s Day. But we are to honor our fathers, not because it’s a holiday, not because it’s a tradition, not because there are sales on everything that we think dad’s would need or like; but because God said so.

In fact, He said so very specifically. The bible tells us in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise — “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

 

I want to speak directly to the dads but if you’re not a dad, don’t check out, because we all need to hear this. You see, we are involved in a war today, and the battleground is not in Iraq or Afghanistan. The battleground is in our homes. And what’s at stake is not our land, our property, our freedoms. It’s more important that than. What are at stake are our children.

I want to tell you a brief Biblical story this morning that’s going to be our guide for this message: It’s found in the book of Judges in the Old Testament. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges it is found on the screen or you can check it out in your own Bibles - Judges 2: 6 -12

Judges 2:6-12 (NIV)
6 After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance. 7 The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel. 8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the Lord to anger

 

 

 

 

Illustrations:
There’s a story told of a man asking his daughter if she would want quality time with her dad or quantity time with her dad. She replied, “Quality time, Dad, and lots of it!”
I read about a little girl who drew a pretty picture. She went in her dad’s office. Crawled on his lap.  And said, "Daddy, come and see my picture."  And the dad said, "Not now, honey. Dad’s busy." About 10 minutes later, she came back again. Crawled on his lap. And said, "Daddy, will you come see my picture now?" And the dad got frustrated. And said, "Can’t you see I’m busy? Don’t bother me right now. I’ll come and look at your picture later. When I’m ready."
A couple of hours later, the dad came out. And he said to the daughter, "Can I see the picture now?" And the girl said, "Sure." And it was a picture of her and her brother and her mom standing on the lawn. With the family dog. With big smiles. On a sunny day. But the dad noticed that he wasn’t in the picture. And so the dad said, "That’s a nice picture, sweetheart. But how come I’m not in the picture?"
And the girl said, "Because you’re working in your office, daddy."

Cats in the Cradle

C.    With Our Lives.  Genesis 18:18-19 (NIV) Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."
1.    The way we live our life will be a direct reflection of how our children will grow up.  It is scary to think that we have that much influence on our children that they copy us.  
a.    It’s kind of like this situation—A little boy was caught swearing like a sailor. "Young man, where did you learn to talk that way?" said the boy’s mother. The boy looked at his father and said, "Well, Dad, should I tell her?"

2.     2 Kings 14:3 speaks of a king of Israel named Amaziah. “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD…. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash.”

Conclusion:
As we wrap up, let me speak to the kids here today. Life isn’t always what we want, and it isn’t always what’s best, and it isn’t always pleasing to God. There are some of you here this morning who have fathers who aren’t all that great, or maybe not even there? How can you honor your father, even when it’s difficult? How can you go through life without a good father?

Let me suggest to you something this morning. God calls the church his family. And here this morning, there are lots of good, godly dads. I would suggest to you that you go and adopt a dad. Not literally (Can you be my dad, and move in with us), but you know, go up to him and say, “I need a dad, someone I can look up to for advice and help, and I think you’d be a good dad.” And dads, if someone comes up to you and asks that, you know how you are to respond.

Well, it was a typical scenario of young boys debating whose father was the best. This discussion highlighted who their fathers knew. The first boy started the debate by claiming his father knew the mayor. He was soon topped by the second boy who said, "That’s nothing. My dad knows the governor." The stakes were getting pretty high, and the eavesdropping father wondered what his young son would say about him. The little boy shot back, "So what! My dad knows God!" Would your son say the same thing? May our children always be able to say, "My dad knows God!"

How are you fighting the battle? Maybe you need to start today, by apologizing to your kids, and starting anew. Let’s pray.

ourselves – which will eventually collapse around us. 

Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.