Summary: A Father’s Day sermon dealing with three areas in which fathers are extremely important, as we wage war for our children against an ungodly society.
The father of five children had won a toy at a raffle. He called his kids together to ask which of them should have the present. "Who is the most obedient?" he asked. "Who never talks back to mother? Who does everything she says?" Five small voices answered in unison. "Okay, dad, you get the toy."
Today is the day that we honor fathers. That’s me! Honor me! Yea!
In all seriousness, we are to honor our fathers, and our mothers, and this day in June is set aside for us to honor the fathers in this country. But we are to honor our fathers, not because it’s a holiday, not because it’s a tradition, not because there are sales going on all over the country, but because God said so.
In fact, he said so very specifically. The bible tells us in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Notice that it doesn’t say, honor only good moms and dads. It doesn’t say, honor them if you like them. It doesn’t say, honor only the right ones. It says, “honor your father and mother.” And so, today, we ought to honor all fathers.
But I want to speak directly to the dads here today. And if you’re not a dad, don’t check out, because we all need to hear this. You see, we are involved in a war today, and the battleground is not in Iraq or Afghanistan. The battleground is in our homes. And what’s at stake is not our land, our property, our freedoms. It’s more important that than. What’s at stake are our children.
And believe me—it’s a war, it’s an important war, and in this country, we are losing the battle. Children are turning from the faith in record numbers. It’s as if as soon as they leave home and go to college they leave the church. And if you don’t believe me, look here this morning. And lest you think that its only a problem here, it is true all over this country. Children in record numbers are turning from God.
But it’s nothing new. It’s the same as been happening over the course of time. I want to tell you a brief Biblical story this morning that’s going to be our guide for the remaining time we have today—and I’ll be brief. It’s found in the book of Judges in the Old Testament. Genesis, exodus, Leviticus, numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges. In the pew bible it’s found on page _______________. Judges 2: 6 -12
Let me give you a little background here today. The nation of Israel had just marched into the promised land, and they were settling into the land. Now, it wasn’t a complete victory, because when they went in, they didn’t always follow what God desired, and instead of conquering all of it, they instead settled into some of it. And just before what we’re going to look at, they were instructed that they didn’t do what God desired, and they repented of it. With that in mind, let’s read this important passage this morning. Judges 2:6-12.
After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance. 7 The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.
8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heresa in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them.
Once Joshua and his generation passed away, the next generation turned their back on God and worshiped the gods of the peoples around them. Today, in 2004, they don’t wait for mom and dad to pass on. They turn away immediately, and worship the god of television. They worship the god of fashion. They worship the god of convenience. They worship the god of this world. They worship the world. What is the world, 1 John 2:16 tells us. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. (NLT)