Sunday, June 21, 2020 pm – online lesson

Godly Fathers In the Bible

          Today, is a day designated as Father’s Day.   A day we pause to thank our fathers for their sacrifices and being there for us.  While the Bible doesn’t recognize this holiday (or any others in the NT for that matter), it is certainly a noble gesture that is worthy of consideration from a Biblical standpoint.  As with Mother’s Day, when subjects are timely and on people’s minds, it is a good time to reflect on what God’s word has to say about what is going on.  Therefore, I want to present this lesson about fathers, as we did last month with mothers.  The basis for such a study is found in Ephesians 6:2-3, “Honor you father and mother…”  So today, let’s take a few moments to recognize some godly fathers in the Bible (as we did with mothers last month).

 I.                     What does the Bible say about fathers?

a.       The role of the father has always been important.  Children need both parents in the home.  Together they provide the well-rounded rearing a child needs.  When a parent is absent, it puts a strain on that task. 
I say this because we are living in times where broken families are not uncommon.  Many homes lack a father for numerous reasons, and it becomes a burden to the family unit. 
Equally tragic is the presence of a father physically, but he fails to fulfill his God given role.
Many problems in our society stem from broken homes – too many to list in this lesson.
That is why Christian fathers need to evaluate and take their roles seriously.  The future of society and the church depends on it. 

b.       LET us briefly be reminded of what the role of a father is according to God’s word.
Proverbs 20:7, The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 17:6, Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.

c.        They are to be head of the house – the man in the home was given this role from the very beginning.  God has always expected him to lead.  -Ephesians 5:22-23, cf. 1 Timothy 3:4 – in the qualifications of elders, the man rules his own house well.  IOW, he respects God’s pattern for the home.

d.       He is to provide for the family – 1 Timothy 5:8 strongly warns of the one who fails in this responsibility. 
This would include ensuring their safety and protection, and in many other ways. 
A father sees to it that his family is taken care of.

e.       He is responsible to train children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord – Ephesians 6:4.
This text also notes that he is to do so not provoking children to wrath (cf. Colossians 3:21) – meaning it is to be done with love and consideration.
AND this would include spiritual provisions – ensuring they love God and are taught His word.  Cf. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 which reminded Israel of their responsibilities.

f.         He is responsible for discipline in the home – Proverbs 3:11-12, My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.  This text is alluded to in Hebrews 12:5-11 where the writer speaks of God chastening those who belong to Him, just as a father does if he cares about his children.

g.       He is to love his family – a godly father genuinely cares about his family – his spouse and children.  He will sacrifice for them and chasten them BECAUSE he loves them. 
Proverbs 13:24, He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Sometimes men find it difficult to show love, but godly men will find a way to ensure their family knows they love them.

 II.                   Some godly fathers in the Bible

a.       Not all fathers in scripture were godly.  We find many examples of failed fathers – from Eli (and Samuel) who failed to take measures to restrain their son’s sinful behaviors as priests, even though they rebuked them;
Both Isaac and Jacob demonstrated favoritism that caused all sorts of trouble.
David was a poor example of a father – having many wives and children (and as such was likely unable to give them the attention they needed).  The history of his children his tragic – One son violated his half-sister, another killed him and later rebelled against David as king and sought to overthrow him – including defiling David’s wives as David fled. 
Another son tried to usurp the throne from Solomon, whom David appointed as he was dying to be his successor. 
Solomon eventually turned against God through his idolatrous wives.
Manasseh and Ahaz, both wicked kings in Judah sacrificed some of their children to idols. 

b.       Godly fathers in the Bible

                                                   i.      We don’t have any examples of perfect fathers in the Bible, and examples of how they raised their children are scarce.  But we have a handful of men who did godly things and are noted for those things in the way their children responded to them.  Let us consider a few.

                                                 ii.      Noah – a righteous man who walked with God in a condemned world.   Hebrews 11:7 describes his faith.  In that, while the rest of the world perished, he saved his sons and their wives. 

                                                iii.      Abraham – was so faithful to God that he instilled that faith for generations.  His son Isaac trusted God, and so did his grandson – Jacob.  By what we read of the life of Abraham, it can be inferred that he sought to instill the values of God in his children. 

                                                iv.      Job – Job was known for his integrity in the presence of God (Job 1:1).  He had 7 sons and 3 daughters (vs. 2) 
Note Job 1:4-5 - who offered sacrifices for his children to ensure they were right with God. 

                                                  v.      Jairus – a ruler of the synagogue who loved his daughter and went to Jesus for help when she was sick (Mark 5:22-24).

                                                vi.      Philip, the evangelist – everything we read about Philip is good – he is one of the 7 chosen to help with the Hellenistic widows in Acts 6:5.  He goes to Samaria and preaches, and later to the Eunuch (Acts 8) and converts many.
After this we find him in Caesarea (Acts 8:40).  Many years later (possibly 20 or so years), he is STILL in Caesarea and we are told he had 4 daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:8-9).  This implies that he instilled spiritual values in his children.

                                              vii.      Joseph, the father of Jesus – we do not read much about him, but what we do read is good –
He was described as a just (righteous) man – Matthew 1:18-19.
Consider that while Jesus was not his biological son, he obeyed God and raised Jesus as a carpenter (Jesus was recognized as the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55); he protected Jesus and provided for him as He grew up (taking him to Egypt by God’s command, then to Nazareth, etc.). 
After Jesus is born, Joseph and Mary have other children (Matthew 13:55-56) – some of whom become disciples of Jesus, even prominent (e.g. James – Galatians 1:19, and possibly Judas who is attributed with writing the short letter of Jude.

                                             viii.      NOTE: We do not know everything about these men, but what we do read about them is that while they were not perfect, what we see in their children gives us reason to consider their example in these areas.


And thus we learn about fathers in the Bible.  Much more could be said, both about their responsibilities and examining what we know about various fathers.  But this is sufficient to remind us of what a godly father is.  I want to conclude where I began – with the challenge to honor your father and mother.  On this day, many in America have set it aside to remember fathers.  Let us not relegate our remembrances to only a single day. 

Finally, let us not forget to honor the Father of us all – our God.  Truly He is worthy of such honor.  Think about it.