Different Kinds of Dads

2 Samuel 7:12-14 & Job 1:4-5

            And the Lord said: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands.

        In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.

His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

  1. Today is Father’s Day. This is a time when we honor our fathers – just like we did with our mothers on Mother’s Day. It is a day to remember – it is a day to cry – it is a day to celebrate – it is a day to appreciate — it may be a day to forgive.
  2. Being a father is much more than a biological action. Certainly, that was part of it, but that momentary flash of sparks was nothing compared to the intense relational role of being a father. And being a father is hard, but joyful work.
  3. I know that from my case, I wish that I had an instruction manual delivered to me when our first child David was born and even when our second child was born, Amy, I still needed a lot of instruction.
  4. Here are some of the suggested titles of instruction manuals I could have used–10 Easy Steps to being a Father – or better – The Inside Secrets to Diaper Changing! – or The Repair Manual and Guide For Your Loving Teenage Children.
  5.  Actually – even if I had had an instruction manual – it probably would have been the last thing that I would have read. I clearly did not know what to do with a baby — certainly Ann and I had help of parents and friends — but I was at a loss – feeding – changing diapers – staying up at night – you know what I mean.
  6. But – as you all are aware — we learn by trial and error. We remember how our parents helped to shape us – good or not so good. We listened to our friends – but then we just learned how to raise children by trial and error. Hopefully our errors were not so overwhelming that we could not correct our failings.
  7. This morning we will be looking at two fathers in the Old Testament. One is probably familiar to you, the other not as familiar. Both had different characteristics as to fatherhood — which we will take a look at.
  8. Do you remember the story of David — the line of David that would produce the Messiah – Jesus? Let’s look at this chosen Dad and see what kind of a Dad he was.
  9. We always remember the story of David — as a young shepherd boy he was selected by King Saul to help defeat the invading Philistine army. The technological cornerstone of their power of the Philistine onslaught was the giant Goliath. A huge man towering head and shoulders above David. David dispatched this fearsome enemy giant with a single stone from his slingshot. As time passed, God spoke to the prophet Samuel that David was the chosen one to lead the Nation of Israel. Samuel anointed David as the King – and so began the recreation of the Nation of Israel.
  10. As time passed, King David combined many of the tribes that surrounded Israel through marriage to the daughters of the kings. David had six wives and numerous concubines and over 18 sons and who knows how many daughters. – the sons were rascals and rouges — his sons were rapist, anarchists, womanizers and power grabbers. And they did not have a good father figure in David.
  11. One day – and this is the story we all know about David — While David was still married to his wives, he saw beautiful Bathsheba taking a bath and he wanted her – a common theme in the Old Testament. Afterwards when Bathsheba told David she was pregnant, David conspired to have Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, killed in battle so that David could marry Bathsheba.  The son of that encounter did not please God and as a result the young son died — David was heartbroken – and Psalm 51 –“create in me a clean heart” Read some of Psalm 51 – page 888 shows David’s repentance. But, somehow God forgave David and the second son born to David and Bathsheba was Solomon – who built the first Temple in Jerusalem. – The line of David continued as the prophet Nathan had said –“The Throne of David shall continue forever” – and at Christmas we see that Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, was a descendent of King David.
  12. In spite of David’s acceptance by God, he still was a bad father. 
  13. Why was King David such a bad father? I think there are five basic points where David failed in his job as a father:
  14. David Was Too Busy For His Family – Parenting takes a lot of time. It is impossible to properly train a child in the way the child should go without investing a lot of time. David was always absorbed with other duties – and no wonder with so many children, he was an absentee father. If we, as fathers and grandfathers are too busy with our work and our lives, we’ll never succeed in being good dads and grandfathers.
  15. David Wasn’t Involved in His Children’s Lives – If we look into one of his son’s life – Adonijah — He acquired chariots and a large entourage. Although David was aware of this, he neither rebuked his son nor made any inquiry into his actions. Instead, he basically let them go their own way, without worrying about the consequences. Children whose father’s aren’t involved in their lives go their own way – and there usually is a lot of difficulty.
  16. David Didn’t Discipline Them – While I don’t think the Bible would tell us every action of David’s life, it does tell us enough to know that he didn’t discipline his children for their misdeeds. This is most obvious with David’s third son, Absolom. First he commits murder, then he raises up in rebellion, and all David did was say, “treat him gently.” If we, as parents, don’t discipline our children, the world will. And, the world’s discipline will be much harder than ours.
  17. David Gave Them Everything They Wanted – Of course, as king, David had the ability to give his children everything, and anything they wanted. Like many, he misunderstood love as satisfying every whim of the person. But, true love is more interested in what they need, than what they want. David indulged his children to the point where they thought they should have whatever they wanted.
  18. David Wasn’t a Good Example – His fling with Bathsheba was just one example to his suns that adultery was okay. We’ve seen how Amnon, raped his sister – and hence he followed in the bad example of his father. How many other places did his children fail, because of David’s example?
  19. So, we fail as fathers if we follow David’s example. Don’t put the effort necessary into the lives of your children. If you don’t you too can reap the kind of harvest of sorrow that David reaped. Or, maybe you’d prefer to learn from his mistakes, and put the time and energy into raising your children to serve the Lord. As we all know our children are worth the investment of our time and energy — even if we have been negligent so far we can start anew now.
  20. Let’s look at Job
  21. The Book of Job begins with an introduction to Job’s character—he is described as a blessed man who lived righteously in the Land of Uz. The Lord’s praise of Job prompted Satan to challenge Job’s integrity, suggesting that Job served God simply because God protected him. God removed Job’s protection, allowing Satan to take his wealth, his children, and his physical health (but not his life) in order to test Job’s character. Despite his difficult circumstances, he did not curse God, but rather cursed the day of his birth. And although he anguished over his plight, he stopped short of accusing God of injustice.
  22. Most of the book consists of a debate between Job and his three friends concerning Job’s condition; they argue whether it was justified, and they debate solutions to his problems. Job ultimately condemns all their counsel, beliefs, and critiques of him as false. The Lord then appears to Job and his friends out of a whirlwind, God, acknowledging the steadfast virtues in Job, then rebuked the three friends and gave them instruction for remission of sin, followed by Job being restored to an even better condition than his former wealthy state.
  23. Here is what we can understand about Job as a father:
  24.  Job was the spiritual leader in his family
  25. Job was concerned and devoted to the spiritual wellbeing of his children. The beginning chapters show us just how caring and concerned he was about his family.
  26. Many fathers are concerned about the physical wellbeing of their children, but how many can say their actions demonstrate as great a concern about the spiritual wellbeing of their children?
  27. Job had a positive outlook on life
  28. We all have our moments of disgruntlement, but that should be the exception rather than the rule. This was the case with Job.  For Job to have faced such a catastrophe in the manner he did, it says much about his nature.
  29.  Job was a humble man.   Job was not afraid to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me.” Father’s, demonstrate humility before your children. Spiritual growth demands honesty and humility.
  30. So – let’s ask ourselves on this Father’s Day – “What does a father give to his children?  What lessons can we learn from our fathers?
  31. A good point to pick up on is found in Proverbs 4:1-4 – “Listen my children, to a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight for I give you good precepts.”
  32. God has given us the opportunity to be able to share with our children and grandchildren our life experiences that we have learned. It is our duty and responsibility to show our children what a loving and caring God does for men of faith.
  33. Our children need both parents – both mother and father — fathers add a special dimension to the raising of the children —- there is a forever bond between children and father and a forever bond between children and mother. It is up to us as fathers to be certain that the bond is always at the forefront of our actions.
  34. Fathers – we show our children by our example who we want them to become.
  35. If we demonstrate our love for their mother, children will know how to love and how to receive love.
  36. If we show our children how to be trustworthy, they will become trustworthy.
  37. If we show our children how to be frugal and to live a balanced life they will be able to see the virtues in following our example.
  38. And of course, the corollary is true. If we show our children that adultery is our way of our life, they will grow up believing that adultery is OK.
  39. If we show our children that our financial gains have come as a result of being a workaholic then our children can grow up to believing that work and money is the most important thing in their lives.
  40. Men – we set the example of how our children will grow up and what they value.
  41. Finally – men – if we show to our children a firm committed love of God and then we practice what we preach about being a follower of God —– then the obvious is true – our children stand a good chance of growing up and following in our footsteps.
  42. Let us pray that we too can learn from the examples of David and Job.
  43. Thanks be to God!