Summary: The book of Job is a study in the reality of suffering and the sovereignty of God over evil. It is not a text that you hear mentioned on Father’s Day. But according to Job 1:1-5, he was an exceptional father.
Job: A Father with Staying Power
Pastor Jeff Williams
Good morning! I would like to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. While we have celebrated our mother’s sacrifice and investment in our lives for nearly one hundred years, fathers did not get their due until President Johnson declared the third Sunday in June as an official holiday in 1966. Some of us will call our dads or see them later today. Some of us will honor their memory and the day will be difficult. Father’s Day is a strange day and many are still not sure what to make of it. A little boy was asked the difference between Father’s Day and Mother’s Day and replied, “They are about the same…except you don’t have to spend near as much money on Father’s Day.”
I would like to start this morning’s message with five things you will never hear a father say…
5. You’re right honey. I should have turned left about forty miles ago. We are hopelessly lost. Here’s a gas station. I’m going to pull over and ask for directions and there is nothing you can do to stop me.
4. Ok sweetheart. You are almost thirteen now. I think it’s about time to start car dating, don’t you? How about that nice young man, what’s his name, Slug? Yeah, the one with the neat nose ring.
3. What do you mean you want to play football? Being a figure skater isn’t good enough for you son?!
2. No son of mine is going to live under my roof without their tongue pierced. Now stop your whining and let’s watch Trading Spaces together.
1. Why would you want a job? I make plenty of money for you to spend.
Last month, Pastor Brian and I were discussing this sermon series. We were searching for a good example of a father from the Scriptures. It proved to be a difficult task. We came up with many examples of fathers who failed or bailed but had little success finding a dependable dad.
David’s sons were rapists, liars, murderers, and treasonous brats who constantly attempted to take over his kingdom. Eli’s sons were so wicked that God put them to death. Jacob played favorites and saw his family torn apart by jealousy. The Bible does not cover over the failings of its characters. It paints human nature in startling reality – warts and all. Fatherhood is one of the most difficult tasks a man can undertake. The stakes are high – the next generation is counting on us.
After some research, we came up with a most unlikely candidate – Job. The book of Job is a study in the reality of suffering and the sovereignty of God over evil. It is not a text that you hear mentioned on Father’s Day. But according to Job 1:1-5, he was an exceptional father.
He provided for them… a Godly example
As we begin, a little background would be helpful. Job was an enormously wealthy man but there was much more to his legacy than his bank account. Let’s begin with chapter one verse one:
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
In the first verses of the book of Job we are introduced to a man who lived in Southeast Palestine nearly three thousand years ago during the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. His name “Job” in Hebrew means “one greatly tried.” That Job was greatly tried is an understatement and his name has become synonymous with patience through tough trials.
Job was an immensely wealthy man as shown by the amount of livestock he had acquired. He was the Bill Gates of his day. God had blessed him with enormous prosperity. Not only had his business ventures prospered, his family had grown into a large tribe. Solomon wrote,
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalm 127:3-5)
Job provided for his children financially in ways that most fathers could only dream about. Paul wrote to Timothy that, regardless of your financial situation, this is a must for fathers:
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially his immediate family he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (I Timothy 5:8)
Money may buy many things but it can not satisfy a child’s longing to be loved well. Christina Onassis, heir to the billion dollar Onassis oil fortune, said before she committed suicide, “Happiness is not based on money. And the best proof of that is our family.” Job provided something much more important than dollars and cents, he provided a Godly example.