Summary: From the Book of Joshua we get a sermon that encourages fathers to follow the example of Joshua.

The Godly Father

Joshua 24:14-18

[14] "Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord!

[15] And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

[16] So the people answered and said: "Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods;

[17] for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed.

[18] And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God."

In Kentucky they have huge farms

that are dedicated to producing race horses.

On those farms they have a special barn

where the stallions are kept.

Those stallions sire hundreds of colts every year.

Those colts after they are born never see their fathers.

They get to know their mothers by staying with them

until they are weaned,

but they never see their fathers.

That same thing is happening to many children today.

After birth, they are raised by their mothers

but have little or no contact with the men who sired them.

It takes more than being a semen donor to be a father.

For the past few Sundays

I’ve been preaching from the Book of Joshua.

This is Fathers Day and I found a passage in Joshua

that I believe works well for today’s message.

Have you ever wondered how Fathers Day got started?

The idea for children to honor their fathers

began in Spokane, Washington.

Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day

while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.

She had been raised by her father after her mother died.

Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her.

It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices.

Sonora saw her Dad as a courageous, selfless, and loving man.

Her father was born in June,

so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration

in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge

proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.

Roses are the Father’s Day flowers:

red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died.

A little boy was asked to define Father’s Day and he said,

“Its just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.”

There are several examples of a godly father in the Bible.

One is without a doubt, JOSHUA.

At the age of 110, he summoned the leaders of Israel to Shechem.

He assembled them for a farewell address.

He challenged them to obey the Lord

who had fought for them and given them an inheritance.

He warned them of the danger of apostasy,

saying, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,

He chose the perfect place to say those farewell words.

Shechem was a place with sacred memories:

Abraham’s altar and Jacob’s well were located there.

25 years earlier, a tremendous dedication service took place here.

Joshua spoke to the people with the authority of experience.

He had walked with Moses for 40 years.

He led Israel into the conquest of Canaan for another 25 years.

He reinforced his appeal with these words,

“as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

There are many things I could say about Joshua,

but I want to mention just two qualities that he possessed

that all fathers of all ages should try to follow.

Point #1. Fathers Should Be The Spiritual Leader of the Home.

Joshua recognized his responsibility

for the spiritual life of his family.

He spoke for his family.

He declared their intent.

A father cannot function unless he is in close contact with God.

According to the Bible, the family

was designed to be the basic educational unit.

God said in Deuteronomy 6:6-9

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. [7] You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. [8] You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. [9] You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

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