Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Moses was the father figure to Israel of their Heavenly Father, just as earthly father are also father figures who point to God. But how do earthly fathers reflect a Heavenly God? And just who is this prophet Moses' spoke of?

James Dobson once told of the time his 2 year old son Ryan said grace. He said:

“He had watched his mother and me pray before we ate each meal, but he had never been asked to say grace. One day, when I was out of town on a business trip, Shirley spontaneously turned to our toddler and asked if he would like to pray. The invitation startled him, but he folded his little hands, bowed his head and said reverently, “I love you Daddy, Amen.”

(James Dobson, Focus On The Family Magazine April 07 p. 18)

Now, what was little 2 year old Ryan saying?

Yes, he was saying he loved his daddy.

And yes, he was saying he loved God.

But he was also saying something else.

To his little 2 year old mind - his daddy was God.

Now, that’s not good theology.

But it’s not far off.

You see, earthly fathers were intended by God to be examples of who He is!

That’s why the Bible often refers to God as our FATHER.

Speaking of God, Isaiah declared

“…you, LORD, are OUR FATHER, our Redeemer from of old is your name. Isaiah 63:16

Jesus taught us: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify YOUR FATHER which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

The Lord’s Prayer starts out

“Our FATHER which art in heaven…” Matthew 6:9

And Paul wrote “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, FATHER." Romans 8:15

God Is Our Heavenly Father, and thus it’s obvious that He meant for earthly fathers to be physical representations of who He is.

In the days of Moses, God was the FATHER of Israel.

But Moses was God’s representative.

And because of that, Moses became God’s physical “Father Figure” for the nation of Israel.

Thus, when Moses spoke, he spoke the words of God.

When Moses led he led where God directed.

Every aspect of Moses’ life reflected the life God wanted Israel to imitate.

You see, that’s what a FATHER FIGURE is all about.

Father figures are to help is grow up to be something special.

And earthly fathers were meant by God to be FATHER FIGURES to us of who HE IS, and to model for us the kind of people WE ought to become so we can glorify our Heavenly Father.

Now, at this point, someone might say: “Well, Jeff you’re being sexist in saying that.”

I’m not being sexist… I’m being realistic.

Not only is this concept Biblically true (to say that earthly fathers were meant to be models of our heavenly Father) it is SCIENTIFICALLY true.

ILLUS: According to a study done in Britain a few years back, (Urmee Khan Telegraph.co.uk 10/1/08) children whose fathers spent more time with them had a higher IQ and were more socially mobile than those who had received little attention.

AND, the differences were still detectable by the age of 42.

According to another study, (“Being a Good Dad When You Didn't Have One”, p. 19)

Children from FATHERLESS homes are:

• 5 times more likely to commit suicide;

• 32 times more likely to run away;

• 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders;

• 14 times more likely to commit rape;

• 9 times more likely to drop out of high school;

• 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances;

• and 9 times more likely to end up in state-operated institutions.

The point?

God designed fathers to have a significant impact on their children.

And when earthly fathers don’t live up to their responsibilities… it has a disastrous effect.

But when they DO live up to being God’s “father figure” THEN they greatly benefit kids.

ILLUS: George Foreman grew up never knowing who his father was. When he got married he ended up having several children, 5 of which were boys. Do you what he did for his 5 sons?

He named them all GEORGE!!! (ALL 5 of them)

He never wanted his boys to wonder who their daddy was.

He understood the value of a “Father Figure”

And God understands the value of a “father figure” too, and so God has made specific promises to fathers that He will bless them if they do it right.

In the 10 commandments, God warns the fathers:

“You shall not bow down to (idols) or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me...”

BUT THEN HE makes this promise

“... but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”Exodus 20:5-6

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