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A FEW FATHERS OF THE BIBLE

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Most people would never recognize this woman.  She is Sonora Louise Smart Dodd.

 

B.      Most people would never recognize this man.  This is William Jackson Smart.

1.      He is Sonora’s father.

2.      He raised Sonora and five other children after the death of his wife.

3.      He raised them with great love, care, and affection.

 

C.     Sonora heard a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.  Because of her affection for her father, she wondered why there was not a Father’s Day.  She became the crusader for the day which honors all fathers.

1.      It was celebrated in Spokane, WA for the first time on June 19, 1910.

2.      But, it was not officially made a day of permanent remembrance until 1972 by President Richard Nixon. 

3.      Since, then Father’s Day has been celebrated on the third Sunday of each June.

 

D.    Today is the third Sunday of June, Father’s Day.  In honor of our fathers, I want us to look at the subject:  “A Few Fathers of the Bible.”

 

I.                   ADAM:  A FATHER WHO FELL

 

A.    Adam had three sons: 

1.      Cain, Abel, and Seth

2.      It is interesting that none of these boys ever got to enjoy the pleasures of the Garden of Eden.

3.      The reason is because Adam transgressed the commandment of God before they were born.

 

B.      Two New Testament verses summarize the consequences of this father’s actions.

1.      Romans 5:12

 

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

 

2.      I Corinthians 15:22

 

For as in Adam all die…

 

C.     Adam entered into this sin with no coercion. 

1.      His wife was deceived according to Paul in I Timothy 2:14.

 

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

 

2.      We might wonder:  “Why?”  Any answers to this question are sheer speculation.

 

D.    Adam sinned. 

1.      His sin brought serious consequences to the rest of the human race.

2.      Can you imagine how Adam explained his situation before the fall and his sin to his sons?

3.      Adam teaches all fathers the need for obedience.  Disobedience to God’s will is far, far too costly.

 

II.                ABRAHAM:  A FATHER OF FAITH

 

A.    Abraham is known as a man of great faith.

1.      He is listed in the Hall of Fame of the Faithful in Hebrews 11 (vs. 8-10, 17-29).

2.      Three times in the New Testament we read these words about Abraham:  “And he believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23).

3.      In Romans 4, Abraham’s faith is discussed.  One of my favorite verses describing Abraham’s faith is Romans 4:20.

 

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.

 

B.      Abraham teaches us exactly what faith is.

1.      It is hearing God and believing what He says.

2.      It is hearing God and obeying what He commands.

3.      The words of God to Abraham were some of the most challenging ever given to any human being.

a.      Leave your home (Gen. 12:1-3).

b.      You will have a son, even though you and your wife are beyond the age of child-bearing (Gen. 15:4).

c.       Take you son and offer him upon one of the mountains of Moriah (Gen. 22:1-2).

 

C.     We need more fathers who are full of faith like Abraham was. 

1.      Their faith will cause them to walk with God wherever they live.

2.      Their faith will cause them to fight against their enemies.

3.      Their faith will cause them to trust in God’s promises.

4.      Their faith will cause them to rear their children to fear God and obey Him.

5.      Their faith will cause them to make intercession on behalf of others.

6.      Their faith will cause them to obey the most difficult commands of God.

 

D.    Galatians 3:7

 

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

 

III.             JOSHUA:  A FATHER OF FORTITUDE

 

A.    Fortitude:  mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously

 

B.      Joshua occupied two unique positions among the people of Israel.

1.      First, he was the captain of the army under Moses.

2.      Second, he was the leader of God’s people after Moses died.

 

C.     Joshua was challenged on numerous occasions, and he held firm.

1.      The first time we see Joshua, he leads the forces of Israel against the army of Amalek (Exo. 17:8-13)

2.      He was one of the twelve who spied out the Promised Land and affirmed that the land could be taken (Num. 14:6-9).

3.      He was given the mantel of leadership and led the children of Israel into the Promised Land against the heathen nations of Canaan (Josh. 1).

4.      When he neared death, he exhorted the children of Israel to remain faithful and declared his allegiance to God (Josh. 24:15).

 

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:  but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

D.    Whether it was strong armies, erring brethren, or heathen nations, Joshua always stood firm.

 

E.      We need more father with fortitude. 

1.      Men with courage.

2.      Men with stamina.

3.      Men with endurance.

4.      Men who are steady.

5.      Men who can be counted upon.

 

F.      Judges 2:7

 

And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel.

 

IV.             JOSEPH:  A FATHER OFTEN FORGOTTEN

 

A.    We don’t talk about Joseph as a father very much.

1.      First, individuals are very quick to point out that he was a step-father, not a biological father.

2.      Second, there is not a lot of information about him in the Biblical text.

3.      Third, it appears that he died at a rather young age.  He is not mentioned at all during the crucifixion events.

 

B.      We should not discount Joseph, however.  He appears to have been a very good father.

1.      Mary agreed to be his wife. 

a.      Before all of the events happen in the Biblical narrative, Joseph and Mary were espoused to be married.

b.      She saw something good in this man.

2.      The Bible specifically tells us that Joseph was a “just man” (Matt. 1:19).  This was evidenced in his choice to Mary away privately rather than making her a public example when he knew she was pregnant.

3.      Joseph was told by the angel of God about what was happening with Mary (Matt. 1:20-21).  God apparently approved of Joseph’s being Jesus’ earthly father.

4.      After being told by the angel of Mary’s miraculous conception, Joseph obeyed the instructions of the angel (Matt. 1:24-25).

 

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:  and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son:  and he called his name Jesus.

 

5.      Joseph did a good job in teaching Jesus his trade of carpentry.  In Mark 6:3, Jesus is specifically referred to as “the carpenter.”

 

C.     Joseph is a man who does not “shine” in the Biblical text, but went about doing his responsibility as a father in a very responsible manner. 

1.      In this respect, he is like most fathers today.

2.      Fathers need to look at the life of Joseph more and follow in his footsteps.

 

V.                GOD:  THE FATHER OF ALL FATHERS

 

A.    It is interesting that Eve is called “the mother of all living,” but Adam is not called “the father of all living.”

1.      The reason is because Adam had a Father, the living God.

2.      In Luke 3, a genealogy of Jesus is presented.  Note what is said in Luke 3:38.

 

Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the Son of Adam, which was the son of God.

 

B.      God is the Father of all fathers.

1.      Every father should seek to emulate God the Father in all they do.

2.      His example is perfect in every way:  love, care, protection, instruction, and discipline.

 

C.     He is the only Father who can truly take care of our spiritual needs. 

1.      He has done this through His precious Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17).

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, what whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemnd the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 

2.      And in the revelation of His will to man (Acts 20:32)

 

And, now, brethren, I command you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    We have looked at five fathers in this lesson.

1.      Adam teaches fathers the need to obey God.

2.      Abraham teaches fathers to live a life of faith.

3.      Joshua teaches fathers to live a life of fortitude.

4.      Joseph teaches us the importance of living righteously before God even when we seem to be forgotten.

5.      The Father of Fathers provides the perfect example for all fathers.

 

B.      Too, the Father of Fathers has made wonderful provisions for our salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.  How to receive these provisions is found in His Word He has revealed to us in the Bible.