Summary: Are you a father or a daddy?

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A Father’s Failure

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 18:24-33

Text: 2 Samuel 18:33

Sermon Idea: Are you a father or a daddy?

The May 4, 1999 issue of Sports Illustrated has a very telling cover. On the cover it talks about the NBA playoffs, the NHL playoffs but the cover picture and story caption tell it all. The picture of Khalid Minor, son of Boston Celtic, star guard Greg Minor holding a basketball and staring into the camera. The caption reads "Where’s Daddy?"

Professional athletes have fathered a staggering amount of children out-of-wedlock. One NBA star has had seven children by six women. Paternity cases have not only disrupted teams they have also disrupted careers. What’s going on and what does it mean for the children who are left behind. Fathering children out-of-wedlock has not only become common place among professional athletes it has also become common place in society. Those who have fathered children out-of-wedlock have become oblivious to the legal, financial and emotional consequences.

Agents now spend more time settling paternity cases than contract problems. We know this would not be an epidemic if players were only abstinent however they can’t blame this problem on ignorance. All of the respective leagues hold informational seminars. In light of this it is crazy for these guys to be behaving like this. Before every season a rookie orientation is held (which the league makes mandatory) that is designed to help the players understand and avoid the hazards they may face. The topics included are investing, media relations and interpersonal relationships with women. These seminars stress to athletes that they can easily protect themselves. There are 15 NFL teams that sponsor a seminar with the U. S. Department of Child Services to promote involvement by fathers in their children’s lives.

During last years Super Bowl one professional athlete for the Atlanta Falcons who had received an award for being an outstanding father was picked up for solicitation of a prostitute the night before the game.

The Detroit Lions have put out a public announcement that says: "Whether you’re married, divorced, or single, fatherhood is forever."

(READ 2 SAMUEL 18:33)

Here is a bitter cry. It tends to make our blood run cold after all these years. There are tears upon it that have never been dried by the hot suns of the centuries gone by. This is not the wail of a woman, but a man; not a mother, but of a father. It is a king weeping over his greatest failure. The king finally realized that fatherhood was forever.

I. David was inactive. (v. 24)

By many standards’ David was a very successful man. He began as a mere shepherd boy and for all he knew that was to be his life. He defended his sheep against bears, lions and whatever else came to get them. He had great courage. He was a winner. Wasn’t it he who stood against the Philistine Goliath when no one else could be found? He played the harp for kings, and he grew into a great soldier and politician. He even wrote poetry.

Here David is sitting at the gate awaiting the outcome of the battle to be brought to him. He allowed his commanders and soldiers to talk him out of going with them so he was sitting at the gate once again being inactive. David had been inactive on a number of occasions when his children needed him. His daughter needed him to come to her aid when she was raped. His sons needed him there when one was plotting to kill the other for what he had done. Yet David was no where to be found. David never saw himself as a father and because of this he failed his children.

He failed because his sons did not become Benaiahs (Jehovah has built), he failed because they did not become Abners (the father is a lamp), he failed because his daughters were not Bethuels (abode of God), he failed because they were not Abigails (father is rejoicing). David failed because he did not see his children as the gifts from God that they truly were. David was a great light for his country, he had brought the nation together, his abode was in his God and in his heavenly father he rejoiced. However, David never gave his children a chance to develop a relationship with him. David didn’t build his sons up in the Lord and make them Jehovah’s buildings. He didn’t provide them with the light they needed. His daughters never felt safe in his care and could not rejoice in his fatherhood. Because of this, David’s heart was broken.

Brennan Manning in his book Lion and Lamb tells of a professor he had who told him about his father. The professor tells of how one day he had come in from playing. He needed a drink, as he was drinking he could hear his father and a friend talking. He stood with his ear plastered to the door separating the kitchen and dining room. The man had asked the professors’ dad which of his thirteen children was his favorite. The professor’s dad answered his friend, "That’s easy;" he then began to name each one of his thirteen children and some of the problems they were going through. Mary had just gotten braces and was feeling awkward and embarrassed, Peter was going through a break up, Michael the youngest was clumsy and uncoordinated and Susan was in the throes of an alcohol problem. The professor told Brennan that what he learned that day was that his father loved each of his children the same. It was also the one who was having the troubles at the time that needed to be loved the most. "God doesn’t wait until we have our moral life in order before he starts loving us." In his brokenness the king finally realized that fatherhood was forever.

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