Summary: Being a wise father
"Foolishness Follows Your Family"
Father’s Day - 6/19/2005
Intro: This morning we want to talk about one of the greatest investments you can make. More important than investing in stocks and bonds, or a good mutual fund, is investing in the lives of your children. Dr. Tony Evans once was out playing ball with his kids in the front yard. His wife opened the door and yelled, Honey, you’re ruining the grass. He replied, We’re not raising grass, we’re raising children.
We cannot place things above our children. As we think about Father’s this morning, we realize there are many different types of fathers: some of them are better than others. Two young boys were walking home from Sunday School after hearing about the temptation of Christ. Little Johnny said, Do you believe all that stuff, I mean, do you believe there really is a devil? Billy replied, No, it’s just like Santa Claus, the devil is really your dad! Hopefully, that doesn’t describe your father.
This morning we want to consider the example we set as fathers, and to see how our foolish choices can affect our family. Last week we talked about wisdom, and that if we would seek God’s ways, our life would be blessed. But what happens when we don’t? Let’s look this morning at the example David sets for us as a father. We have been going through the OT together, and we are at the point of the OT about 1200 BC, where David and Solomon enjoy great reigns as kings of Israel. 1 Chronicles 29:28 says David died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. When we think about one of the greatest men who ever lived, we think about King David. David was chosen to be the king to replace Saul after Saul’s disobedience because he was a man after God’s own heart we are told in 1 Samuel 13:14. David had a great heart for God.
David was one of the greatest kings there ever was. From his early days as a boy killing Goliath, to his years running from Saul and defeating the Philistines, to his years ruling and conquering all the enemy nations that fought against him: David was a great king. David had a beautiful palace. He brought in special craftsmen to build his palace, and the city of David was fortified to resist defeat in battle. David was a wise planner.
But David was a poor father! David faced problem after problem in his family life. And his foolishness as a father left its mark on his children as well.
Why is it that a man who is so blessed by God and with such a great heart for God could be such a great failure as a father? I think there are several reasons, and we’ll talk about them today. First of all, let’s talk about what I mean when I say that David was a failure as a father.
*David’s Failure as a Father is seen in the actions of his children
2 Samuel 13 - David’s son Amnon loves his sister Tamar, so his cousin gives him advice on how he can get her alone. He does, rapes her, and then hates her more than he had loved her.
2 Samuel 13:28 - David’s son Absalom loved Tamar and wanted to avenge her rape. He kills his brother Amnon, then flees the country.
2 Samuel 15:10 - Absalom usurps the throne and tries to overthrow his father.
1 Kings 1 - David’s son Adonijah usurps the throne; wanted to take over from his aging father.
While I don’t believe every parent is responsible for the actions of their children, I do believe there can often be a connection between the two. And in looking at David’s children, we see David is partly to blame for their actions.
*Reasons for David’s Failure as a father
A. David did not follow God’s guidelines for one man and one woman joining together.
In Matthew as Jesus is questioned about marriage and divorce, he replies that from the beginning God created one man and one woman to join together and to become one flesh. 2 Samuel 5:13 - David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. Among his wives mentioned in the Bible are : Michal, Abigail, Ahinoam, Haggith, Maacah, Eglah, and Bathsheba. When David flees the city as Absalom approaches, he leaves behind ten of his concubines. David had multiple children by these various wives. Among his children are these: Amnon, Daniel, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, Eliphelet, Nogah, Ithream, and Tamar. He had at least 19 children.
Throughout the Old Testament we see those with multiple wives invariably having problems in their families because of the multiple wives.