Monday, June 17, 2019

A Father’s Last Lesson 1 Kings 2:1-4

A Father’s Last Lesson

Text: 1 Kings 2:1-4

Joke: Why Do We Need Dad
A little boy was quizzing his mother. "Mommy, Do the storks brings babies?" he asked.
"Yes," answered his mother.
"Mommy, Does the Lord gives us the food we eat?"
"Yes, dear."
"And does Santa Claus brings us presents at Christmas?"
"Yes, why are you asking me all these questions?"
"Well, I was just wondering," the little boy frowned, "what do we need Daddy for?"

Erma Bombeck wrote the following about fathers, "When I was kid a father was like a light in the refrigerator. Every body’s house had one but no one really knew what either did when the door was shut."...

What do we need Dads for? Unfortunately, many men and fathers today, don’t know what to do once the door to home is shut. They don’t have a clear understanding of who they are. I believe, that the Bible teaches us about the role of fathers. It teaches us that Christian men, real men and real fathers, are called by God and can shape and change the future by the virtue of who they are as men of God.

I want to share one of those passages with you this day as we celebrate and honor Fathers on Father’s Day Sunday.

Prove Yourself a Man  1 Kings 2:2

Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;

Real Strength

The words that David tells Solomon are not just words from one Father to a son but they are words that apply to all of God’s people. The Old Testament records the last words of Jacob (Gen. 49), Moses (Deut. 33), Joshua (23:1-24:27), and David (1 Kings 2:1-11).
Moses spoke words like this to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:7-8
 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.  And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

David seems to be quoting the last words of Joshua when he tells Solomon
 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth - Joshua 23:14

David then begins to advise his son, Solomon. This is the man who take my place and the first thing that David wants to tell Solomon is “Be strong, and show yourself a man.”
Now he is not talking about physical strength, but a much deeper and more powerful kind of strength. This is the mental, moral, and spiritual strength, this is the inner power that we, as fathers, must pass on to our children if they are to make it in this wicked world.

Be Strong

Fathers, do your children know how to be strong? Do they know who and what they are as you children and as members of God’s family? It is our task, our calling to teach them who they are.
To do that Fathers, we must show our children who we are supposed to be, Show them you are a Christian, Show them you are a Child of God, show them you are a soldier of the cross. Show them what it means to be men of God and fathers who are following their heavenly Father.

This is very much what Paul, acting as a spiritual father to the church he helped found,  told the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”

Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and Christian mentors this is our task. To pass on to the next generation what David told Solomon and what Paul told the church “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like a child of God, prove yourself a Christian, be strong.”

And may I add this, without in any way overlooking the daughters and mothers, in our congregation. Fathers, you more than anyone else must teach your sons how to act like a man. And as a Christian you are called by God to go further and teach him how to act like a Christian man. You may fail in everything else in life, but if you teach your sons how to be men, you can leave this life knowing that you were a success.

Illustration:  I Do Not Choose To Be a Common Man (writing my Grandfather passed on to me)

I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon if I can.
I seek opportunity not security.
I do not wish to be a kept citizen,
Humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk;
To dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence;
The thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any man as master,
Nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid;
To think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations,
And to face the world boldly and say...
This, with God’s help, I have done.
- Dean Alfange (1897-1989) written in 1950’s.

The first lesson David teaches Solomon is Prove yourself, the second on in verse 3 is Prosper In All You Do.

Prosper in All You Do 1 Kings 2:3

 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:

Real Prosperity

David now tells Solomon how to prosper, how to be successful. But notice the way  in which David does this. He begins not by telling him to strive for success, or money or power, but before all other things to keep the charge of the LORD, walk in His ways, keep His statutes, commandments, judgment and testimonies as written in God’s word.

Then after He gives his son the proper priority, he gives him the purpose. If you do these things, if you follow and obey God then these disciplines, these commitments, these steps will cause you to prospers in all you do and where ever you go.

Be Successful

What does it mean then to prosper, to be successful from a Biblical perspective? Because this is the lesson we must learn and then pass on to our children. We are called to teach our children what true success is, what real prosperity is. And teach them how they can find it in.

David understood the lesson and at the end of his life, he wanted to make sure his son would understand it as well. It is really very simple but don’t let its simplicity cause you to not see that it is absolutely essential. Success and prosperity is found by walking with God and obeying God’s Word.

Again listen to what Paul said, this time to Timothy a young man he called his son in the faith,  2 Tim 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:   That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

John wrote as an old man in his 90s to his children in the faith and told them – 3 John 1:2  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
All of these men of God knew this same truth and it is a truth you must pass on to your children. True prosperity and success is not determined by the walking in the world and following the world’s rule book. True prosperity, the prosperity of the soul is determined by walking with God and following His rule book, the Bible.

Illustration:  The Wrong Lesson

We’re looking at the life lesson that David and others men were giving to ther sons and children in the faith, now let me give you a lesson from the negative side of fatherhood. You can learn a lot sometimes from seeing what not to do.

Joke, A Sunday school teacher with a class of young boys was taking attendance when one of his not to eager charges came in late.

Well I’m glad you’re here this morning Johnny.
Sorry I’m late teacher but I thought I’d go fishing this morning instead of coming to church.
I’m glad you came on to church. What changed your mind.
It was something my Dad told me.
Now the teacher, sensing there was a teaching opportunity here, asked Johnny. What exactly did you Dad say that made you come on to the Lord’s house instead of fishing?
He looked at me and said, “Son, there's not enough bait for the both of us."

Yeah, that’s not the lesson you want to leave with you children. So lets go on and look at the right lesson, in our final point, Protect Your Heritage.

Protect Your Heritage 1 Kings 2:4

That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me,  saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth  with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee  (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.

Real Heritage

David then finishes his last words of advice to his son. He tells him, if you will do these things, If you will be strong by walking with the Lord and obeying Him, if you will find true prosperity for you soul and for you life, then God will keep his promises to us. David was repeating what God had told him when he first became king by the words of Nathan the prophet

2 Samuel 7:11-17  And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.  And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.  I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:  But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.  And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.  According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

David was remembering God’s promise and God’s warning and he was now passing that on to the one who would take his place.
Solomon, my son, keep yourself right with God, that the throne of your father would be sure. This is my heritage; this is our heritage and you must guard it with the life you leave once I am gone.

Be The Future

Fathers, the final admonition I am leaving you with this morning is to teach your children to protect their heritage. I believe that every family should know and cherish its history and should protect its heritage. What our children see us cherishing and teaching now, will be what our children teach to their children tomorrow.

I want my children and grandchildren to know who we are by know who we came from. That our ancestors were Scotts and Irish, that we came to America when it was still an infant nation and took our place on its first frontier of Kentucky and Tennessee. That we moved with the nation as it grew, that there were Minefees in Texas along with Stephan F. Austin’s 300 and that a Minefee fought at the battle of San Jacinto. I want them to know about their mothers family the Burlesons who also fought for Texas and must have done better than the Minefees cause they have towns and counties name after them. Our family was mostly dirt farmers and poor but every few generations there would also be a Baptist preacher. He would still be poor but he served the Lord while hoeing the corn. This is our heritage, but every family has a heritage and you should know it and pass it on to your children.

And the most important part of that heritage should be, that we are Christians. I don’t know about you but I’m grateful and proud of my Christian heritage. I’m also proud of my Baptist heritage that crosses, nation and ethnic lines but is still very much my heritage as a Baptist church member. That I must know, cherish and pass on to my children or it will be lost. And once lost how will you reclaim it?

This is what God has commanded us as his people to do in every generation.

Deuteronomy 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Psalms 78:4  We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

Fathers, teach your children to cherish and to protect the heritage you have as family, as Christians and yes as Baptists. You should know what has been entrusted to you and your children should be taught that these things are now entrusted to them. Our children  are the future and that future will be shaped mostly by what they hold on to as their  heritage.
The present time is the only means we have of shaping the future. And the only people we know who will live in that future are our children.

Illustration: THERE ONCE WAS A MAN.... (written a 12 year old girl whose father a missionary was kidnapped in Central America and never seen again.)

There once was a man, a man I once knew.
Who told me stories every night, laughed at my jokes, and held me tight.
He told me, "Don't quit!
Always fight the good fight!"
He said, "Love the Lord with all your heart, and serve Him with all your might!"
He begged me, "Do right!"

There once was a man, a man I once knew.

Who taught me how to tie my shoe, and gently smiled at every picture that I drew.
He told me, "When you start something, don't stop until the job is through."
He said, "I love you."

There once was a man, a man I once knew.

I saw him in my dream, and it made me scream, I called out, "Daddy!"
but he told me nothing, He had nothing to say.
For what can you say, When you are far, so very far away?

"Daddy?  I said, then a voice echoed in my head.
I lay quiet and still in my bed.
Again the voice, Your daddy made a choice, a choice to serve Me with all his might, To not give up, to fight the good fight!
He is doing a job for me and is not yet through, so remember: I love you!"

There now is a man, a man I now know He lived and He died to save men from their sin.
He made it possible for us to be born again.
I know because my daddy told me so
And even though he's no longer here, My God will always be near
To fill in the gaps and show me which way to go
I miss my dad so much, But God has a plan.
So for now I'll just wait and watch the work of His Hand.

There once was a man, A man I once knew He's now just a memory slowly fading away.
"Dead or Alive?" you ask, "I don't know." I say.
So I beg you, Please Pray!!
Pray my daddy knows that every night, I whisper, "Daddy, I love you!"

There now is a man, a man I now know.

Every day He becomes more real to me Every day in Him, I grow.
Every day I pray that my love for Him will show I've made a choice, to serve Him with all my might.
To not give up, to fight the good fight.
Here on earth, I may not see my dad again, but that's all right.
'Cause when my life is through, I'll finally hear them both say My child, I love you."

That little girl had been taught her heritage by the life of her father and it led her to know her heavenly Father. I pray we as fathers can do exactly that.


Fathers you have a calling from God and from Him have been given a purpose.

No matter what you may be in the world’s eyes, in God’s eyes you are a father. This is your greatest calling, your greatest task.

Do all you must do, and sacrifice everything you must sacrifice to fulfill that calling. Everyday of your life now should be dedicated to passing on to your children those things that David passed on to Solomon.

Prove yourself as a child of God, Prosper by walking and obeying God and protect your family and Christian heritage.

It is a monumental task and it calls for great strength and wisdom, more than most of us have but not more than God can give. Fathers, if you do nothing else this Fathers Day please do this. Go humble to God and plead with Him from the depths of your heart to make you the father your children need you to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment