Summary: This is a sermon of four stories. The stories tie together and show how influential dads are upon their children.
The Influential Father
A. Happy Father’s Day. It is good to be men. As many of you know that I enjoy the old musicals. One that I watch and listen to the music of, is “My Fair Lady.” I don’t believe that Prof. Higgins is a great example of men, but he does have some great lines in the story. Near the very end he sings a song that has as it’s theme, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” I caution us men not to ask our wives that question as it may not be received well.
B. I found a list of reasons why it is good to be men:
1: Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
2: A 5-day holiday requires only one suitcase.
3: You can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look like him.
4: Gray hair and wrinkles only add character to men.
5: If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you just might become lifelong buddies.
6: The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
C. Throughout the Bible, father’s were expected to have a great deal of influence upon their children, especially, the boys. In many cases, the livelihood of the son was learned by doing what dad did. So if dad was a carpenter, I was a carpenter. So I asked Caleb how I have influenced him. He thought for a moment and then said something like, “You influence me to work hard. Well, with your mind you work hard, but not with your body.” Okay, so he hasn’t learned much about physical fitness from me.
D. Today is going to be a series of stories. I know that it may not sound as Biblical as you might like, but I want you to follow with me through these stories.
I. The Negative Influence
A. Ahab was the worst king that could have happened to the people of Israel. He married Jezebel and together they took the children of Israel into wickedness. Ahab and Jezebel served and worshiped Baal they taught their son to do the same. When Ahaziah became king, he was just like his father. He too led the people into sin and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger.
B. Here was a man who became the leader of the Northern tribes. Here was a man who had the opportunity to impact a nation. Here was a man whose name was going to be written down in history. With all that going for him and with the aid of being a part of the chosen people, he could have done something great. What do we know about King Ahaziah? We know that he followed in his father’s footsteps. We know that he was a clutz. Here is a man whose biblical story is that he fell through the lattice of his upper room and injured himself. Then, in order to find out if he would survive, he sent a man to inquire Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron.
C. That is just what his father would have done. Along the way, the servant was met by Elijah and was told to go back to the king and ask him, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you consult Baal-Zebub? This is what God says, ‘You will not leave the bed you lying on, you will certainly die.’” The reaction of King Ahaziah was to try and kill the prophet of God. But he failed. Instead God sent down fire from heaven to kill the men who came to Elijah until at last one man who begged for his life was granted it. Elijah came down and went with this captain to the king and told him the same thing he told the first servant. The next words in the Bible are, “so he died.”
D. This is not a sermon on the life of King Ahaziah, but on the influence of fathers. When you live a life a sin, you shoot yourself in the foot, your children in the hip and your grandchildren in the heart. Understand dads that you have a great amount of influence upon your children. Understand that even their very salvation is influenced by you. I want my kids in heaven, the question is, what I am doing about it? Ahab taught his son to lead Israel into sin, what are you teaching?
E. Prov. 22:1, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” Is that part of what you are teaching your children? Ahab didn’t each Ahaziah about a good name. He didn’t leave him a legacy of good examples to follow. Let me tell you another story.
F. Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. He wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for filling Chicago with everything evil. How did he keep himself out of jail? That is where his lawyer came into play. Big Al’s lawyer was nicknamed “Easy Eddie.” He was excellent at keeping his boss out of jail and Al Capone paid him well. Eddie lived the high life and cared little for what happened around him. He only soft spot was his son. He gave his son everything. He tried to teach him right from wrong.