Summary: The unique story of a man searching for a family.
It’s really noteworthy that, among the family biographies in the Bible, you find that dysfunction is not the exception; it’s the norm.
Adam & Eve messed up in paradise and their first son murdered their second. (Gen. 3)
Noah got drunk and naked in front of one of his sons. (Gen. 9)
Abraham lied about his wife Sarah being his sister, allowing other men to walk off with her - two times! (Gen. 12 & 20); and had a child by his wife’s maid Hagar at his wife’s insistence! (Gen. 16)
Job, a contemporary of Abraham, the epitome of faith, yet married to a woman who told him to "curse God and die." (Job 2:9)
Jacob, the pathological deceiver (Gen. 25,27,30), married Rachel the kleptomaniac. (Gen. 31)
Rueben, Jacob’s eldest, slept with his father’s mistress. (Gen. 35)
Moses had a temper problem; his sister Miriam a jealousy problem; and his brother Aaron was weak-willed.
Samson, a judge in Israel, put Arnold Schwarzenegger to shame strength-wise, but was weak around women. (Judges 16)
Eli the priest raised two sons that extorted money from people in the tabernacle. God was patient with Eli for years, asking him to deal with his sons, but Eli remained complacent, forcing God to remove Eli’s family from being priests and replacing him with Samuel who goes on to raise a family similar to Eli’s. (1 Samuel 2, 4)
King David had multiple wives. A son from one marriage raped his half-sister from another marriage, another son murdered the rapist, and a third son tried to take David’s throne from him. (2 Samuel)
Another of David’s sons, King Solomon, apparently spent the middle part of his life as a sex addict. (1 Kings)
Even many of the prophets struggled with broken families.
Why do I bring up these familiar family failures from the Bible? Because it highlights God’s willingness to work with imperfect families.
We’re in the series, "No Perfect Families Allowed" where we’ve been looking at the biographies of biblical families in order to learn from them in ways that will benefit our families. I hope you’ve been encouraged but I also hope that you’ve been challenged.
I said it in the first message in this series and I reiterate, at Pathway, we have struggling families, we have stressed families and we have good families working to be better families - but we don’t have any perfect families. Neither does any other church. Perfect families, like perfect people, don’t exist. I don’t say that to motivate you to go out and be satisfied with a crummy family life, but to give you hope.
One of the reasons a lot of people give up on improving their family life is that they lose hope. They throw up their hands and say, "What’s the use? There’s nothing I can do to make things better." That’s a satanic lie. People end up going around in self-destructive circles because they believe the devil’s lie that you can’t change.
You can improve your family even if you’re single - because with God’s help - you can improve you! If you’re married you can improve your marriage. If you’re a parent or a grandparent or you have problems with your siblings or your in-laws - whatever - all of these relationships can be improved with God’s help.
With God there is always hope!
So we’re going to close out this current series on "No Perfect Families Allowed," by talking about someone in the Bible that you probably never dreamed we would talk about in this series - a single man.
The message today is "The Family for People without a Family."
Here’s his very interesting story from Acts chapter 8.
26 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, "Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27 So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and walk along beside the carriage." 30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
31 The man replied, "How can I, unless someone instructs me?" And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
32 The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 33 He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth."