Summary: The man God will bless, the prosperity He promises, and the blessing of a faithful wife and good children.
Promises to the Man of God Psalm 128
INTRO.: Father’s Day is observed on the 3rd Sunday in June. The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington.
A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart, 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 and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora’s 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.
We want to think about fatherhood today, but, from the point of view of the godly man and what God has promised him. A godly man will be a godly father, and the Lord will bless him as such.
Certainly, not all godly men are fathers. Nor are all fathers godly. But, I believe there are wonderful and unique blessings promised to those who are godly fathers.
I. Verse 1 describes the man God will bless: He "fears the Lord and walks in His ways."
A. Did you fear your father when you were a child? If you are a young person, do you fear your father?
1. The Biblical meaning of fear is not living in terror.
2. It relates more exactly to respect. Like the respect that leads a child to obey his father, knowing the father has power to discipline
3. Most of us don’t live in terror of our father, but fear his wrath. So we obey.
4. The father also has someone he needs to fear in the same way. That’s why Jesus taught us to call God "Father." he loves us but demands and deserves our respect.
B. Jesus describes the godly father in the parable of the prodigal son. Luke 15;11ff
1. He is loving and trusting, sometimes even to the point of over indulgence.
2. Watches out for his children. Knows where they are and what they are doing.
3. He is compassionate and forgiving, even when seriously wronged.
C. He walks in the ways of the Lord:
1. Simply put, that means obedience to the Lord. It means faithfulness in worship, a prayer life, etc.
2. It also means raising your children to know the Lord. Participating in worship and study with them and your wife. So many men think religion is the duty of the mother. Not so!
3. Remember, everything you do, either bad or good sets an example for your children.
II. God promises such a man will prosper: v. 2
A. "Eat the fruit of your labor" means:
1. You will be able to look back and say your hard work was worth it all. God will reward you.
2. You will never need to rely on charity. Your hard work will provide for your family.
3. God will not bless those who are indolent.
B. Of course, God may have a little different view of prosperity than we have: I Tim. 6:5
1. The apostle Paul warns of those who consider godliness a means of financial gain.
2. He then defines gain from God’s point of view. It is contentment. Vv. 6-8
3. There is great peril in setting wealth as our goal in life. Vv. 9, 10
C. Prosperity is having what is needed to provide for your family and being content with it.
1. The father is also responsible for providing emotional and spiritual security for the home.
2. ILLUS.: I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example." -- Mario Cuomo
3. God has never promised to make it easy. He has only promised victory for the faithful.
III. What greater blessing could God promise than a faithful wife and good children? V. 3
A. The fruitful vine and olive trees are symbolic of wealth in the Jewish mind.
1. They provided both a source of food and income, so a man who had such was considered wealthy.
2. For the Godly man, wife and children are his wealth. The thing which should give him the most pride.
3. The vine and tree have a common need for cultivation. In addition, the vine needs support. They should not be neglected. The Jewish farmer lavished great care on his vines and trees, just like modern farmers..