Summary: It is true that we must trace the fall of man to Adam, and there is no way to minimize the harm he brought to the human race by his sin. But the fact remains that somebody has to have been an example of righteousness in that beginning generation, and the evidence points to Adam.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan had something in common in their
childhood, and that was that they both had fallen fathers. When Ron
came home one day as an 11 year old boy he found his father flat on
his back on the front porch, and there was no one there to help. He
said, "He was drunk, dead to the world. I stood over him a minute or
two. I wanted to let myself into the house and go to bed and pretend
he wasn't there..."
Nancy's experience was even worse. She writes in her
autobiography, "I was told as a child my father wasn't at the hospital
when I was born. It must have hurt mother as much as it did me
when I heard about it. I have no idea how old I was before he saw me
for the first time, but I visited him only a few times over the years
before he died in the 1960's. He was my father but I somehow never
could think of him that way because there had never been any
relationship of any kind."
Alcoholism and abandonment was is what our former President
and his wife remember about fatherhood. But it is a mistake to
conclude that only those who are themselves failures are fallen
fathers. The record of the Bible and history will not support such a
conclusion. Being a good father is job that even the most successful of
men fail at. The West German Industrialist Friedrick Flick was a
business genius who built an empire of 300 firms, and a personal
fortune of over a billion dollars. But he had one very conspicuous
shortcoming. He could not control his own children. Success in any
area of life is not guarantee that a man will not fail and foul out as a
David was one of the most successful men of the Bible. He was a
man after God's own heart, and he led Israel to power and wealth,
but he left behind a family all messed up because of his failure as a
father. Eli the great priest had sons that would be a disgrace to a
pornographer because they sexually assaulted women as they came to
worship. The list could go on and on, but the point is not to make
fatherhood depressing, but to see that it has always been hard to be a
successful father. There is hope for success, however, even in this
difficult business of being a dad. We want to look at both the
hardness and the hope in fatherhood by looking at the life of Adam.
We want to look at him from 3 perspectives.
I. ADAM AS THE FIRST FATHER.
Adam was at one time the only father on the face of the earth. He
had no Dr. Spock, and even if he did there was no one to call for help.
There were no books or articles, nor any examples to follow. He
could not reflect and say this is how my father would deal with me in
this situation. Adam had no training to be a father. Most of us at
least saw a baby before we became fathers, but not Adam. He was
the first man to ever see a baby born. You think its scary now, but
what must it have been for a man who had no experience whatever?
Somehow Adam managed and everybody survived. The male
population of the world was doubled in one day. Now there was
another potential father on earth, and this baby did become the
second father in history, but Cain also became the first to murder.
This did not do anything to enhance the record of the first father. We
will look at this further in the next point. But what we learn from this
experience of the first father is that fatherhood has different stages,
and some of them are easy and some are hard.
Cain, as a newborn baby, was without a doubt the delight of Adam
and Eve. He was the first baby; the first toddler; the first to talk and
walk, and do all the things that make children so enjoyable. It seems
hard to have small children, but this is really the easy time. When
precious little Cain grows up he will become a pain. He ended up
killing their second born. Adam had a host of unusual and
unrepeatable experiences as the first father. For one thing, he was
only one year older than his first baby himself in terms of time.
Adam was only created about a year before Cain was born. Nobody
has ever had this experience. Then, he of course was also the first
grandfather, great grandfather, and great great and so on and on.
Adam was the first in many ways and no one can ever take these titles