Summary: Father’s Day
I. A young couple decided to wed. As the big day approached, they grew apprehensive. Each had a problem they had never before shared with anyone, not even each other. The groom-to-be, overcoming his fear, decided to ask his father for advice. "Father," he said, "I am deeply concerned about the success of my marriage. I love my fiancée, very much, but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I’m afraid that my future wife will be put off by them." "No problem," said dad. "All you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible, and always wear socks, even to bed." Well, to him this seemed a workable solution. The bride-to-be, overcoming her fear, decided to take her problem to her dad. "Dad," she said, "When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful." "Honey," her father consoled, "everyone has bad breath in the morning." "No, you don’t understand. My morning breath is so bad, I’m afraid that my new husband will not want to sleep in the same room with me." Her father said simply, "Try this. In the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you’ve brushed your teeth. Not a word," her mother affirmed. Well, she thought it was certainly worth a try. The loving couple was finally married in a beautiful ceremony. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well. That is, until about six months later. Shortly before dawn, the husband woke with a start to find that one of his socks had come off. Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searched the bed. This, of course, woke his bride, who, without thinking, immediately asked, "What on earth are you doing?" "Oh, no!" he gasped in shock, "You’ve swallowed my sock!"
II. The principle: “As is the man, so is his strength,” found in Judges 8:21 is illustrated by four lives in the story particularly for the men who worship with us today.
A. Good men who choose the wrong god and whose lives end in tragedy.
1. Zebah and Zalmunna (zal MUHN uh) “Man killer”
a. Do not discount these men too quickly. As is often done in scripture, God uses them to illustrate some virtuous qualities.
• Compare “Z Z Top” with the officials of Succoth and men of Peniel and see the striking difference.
b. There are many qualities about Zebah and Zalmunna:
• They are both kings.
• They are both kings leading their people to a better life.
• They both possess qualities of character and wisdom.
vs.18, “What kind of men did you kill at Tabor?’ ‘Men like you,’ they each answered, ‘each one with the bearing of a prince.’”
c. They were men like Gideon and his three hundred soldiers, honorable, brave, smart men; EXCEPT they followed a false god.
• Midian was the son of Abraham, mother was Keturah and also the father-in-law for Moses, this is the tribe that Joseph was sold to, Jethro was a priest of Midian.
• However the people of Midian were led astray with the people of Moab by following Balaam and they oppressed Israel for seven years.
• They worshiped Baal-Peor BAY uhl-PEE awr and tried to lead Israel astray.
• Some 250 years later, the Midianites again begin to torment the Israelites.
2. Courageous men who have as it appears chosen the wrong god:
a. Mohammed Ali
b. Tom Cruise
c. Dalai Lama
3. Zebah and Zalmunna were strong men in courage but weak in their belief in God.
a. Courage alone is not enough.
b. Dads need not only be protector but also spiritual leader of their homes.
c. Have you chosen the right god?
B. One man, who lived a full life, loved God and left a legacy.
1. Gideon was Israel’s most famous judge. Gideon was to Israel what William Wallace was to the Scots as depicted in the movie Braveheart. Show a picture of Braveheart.
a. Gideon was a brave and courageous man.
• He had 70 sons! Now that would be a Father’s Day!
• vs. 10, He killed 120,000 men with 300 men!
• Now he faced 15,000 of the Z Z’s best fighters.
b. Gideon’s humanity is evident in two poor decisions:
• His decision to take multiple wives.
• His decision to make a gold Ephod in which in turn they worshiped.
c. The difference for Gideon is the God he served.
• Gideon’s virtue is evident because he refused to be made king.
vs. 23, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.”