Summary: How can I honor my father if he wasn't that good a man to begin with? Why should I do that?
OPEN: Ravi Zacharias told of speaking one time at Ohio State University. He said “As I was being driven to the lecture, we passed the new Wexner Art Center. The driver said, “This is a new art building for the university. It is a fascinating building designed in the post-modernist view of reality.”
The building had no pattern.
Staircases went nowhere.
Pillars supported nothing.
The architect designed the building to reflect how he saw life. It went nowhere and it was mindless and senseless.
Zacharias said “I turned to the man describing it and asked, ‘Did they do the same thing with the foundation?”
He laughed and said: “Oh… you can’t do THAT with a foundation.”
Any contractor will tell you that a building is only as good as its foundation.
If the foundation is faulty, the building is doomed.
But if the foundation is solid, the building will stand a long time.
Jesus tells us that everyone builds on some kind of foundation, but not every foundation is a good one. For example, He tells the parable of 2 men who built on different foundations:
• A wise man built upon a foundation of rock and his house stood in the storm
• But the foolish man built his house on a foundation of sand and the rain washed it away
In the story of Iron Man (on which we’re building this series), we meet a man named Tony Stark who he finds that he’s been building on the wrong foundation, and wants to make a change.
(Clip of Stark deciding to change the company’s focus. Begins during the Press conference where he says “I never got to say goodbye to my father” and ends with his final words to the press before being hustled out)
Stark Industries had been built by the hero’s father. His Dad had laid the foundation for the company and set the course of what they manufactured. It was that foundation that allowed Tony Stark to be the wealthy man and it was that foundation that allowed him to create the hero he became.
The Bible tells us that we all have a foundation laid for us by our fathers. And God apparently expects us to build properly on that foundation.
Proverbs 23:24-25 tells us “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him”
Proverbs 10:1 says “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.”
Ephesians 6:2-3 declares "Honor your father and mother"— which is the first commandment with a promise—"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
God expects us honor our fathers (and our mothers).
Now, my dad was real easy to honor. He was a strong, upstanding man who always tried to do what was right and be a man of God in every one of his actions. I admired him and wanted to grow up to be like him.
But I didn’t always honor him like I should have.
I didn’t always show him the respect and thanks he deserved.
At one point I so frustrated him that he said
“If you weren’t my son, I’d have nothing to do with you.”
So, even though I knew the command to honor my father, I didn’t always do it well.
The question before us this morning is – how can I honor my father properly (even if they are no longer alive)? In our text this morning, I found three ways that can be done:
1. One way is to work at finding a way to fulfill their dreams.
In I Kings 5 we find that Solomon has built on the foundation of HIS father. We read that Solomon told Hiram (the king of Tyre) that he intended to build on the foundation that HIS father had laid.
His father was David, and David had dreamed of building a beautiful Temple for God but had been unable to do so because he was always at war with other nations.
But now, Solomon has the ability and resources to fulfill his father’s dreams and he is going to build a Temple to glorify God.
And BECAUSE Solomon honored his father in this way God honored Solomon by allowing him to build a Temple that lasted for centuries. The Temple he built was destroyed and rebuilt a couple of times but neither of the rebuilt Temples equaled the physical beauty and majesty of first. ALL because Solomon honored his father by his decision.
2. Another way we can honor our dads by not to bring up/weaknesses when we talk about them.
Solomon’s father (David)
• Was a great man.
• David was a hero.
• A man after God’s own heart.