The Godly Father

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  • 1. o “By the time a child is ten he is either a Christian or a pagan. If he is a pagan, he has been greatly sinned against. His parents, his neighbors, his teachers and his playmates have done him a great harm.”
  • 2. o Children quickly learn the values that will govern their lives. o The kings of Israel/Judah often passed their traits to their children. o Because children so quickly learn their values, it‟s important that we train them in righteousness. o “When your children say to you, „What do you mean by this service?‟ you shall say, „It is the sacrifice of the LORD‟s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses‟” (Ex 12:26-27, ESV). o “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4, ESV).
  • 3. In this morning’s text, Joshua speaks of “The Godly Father” & the way he raises his children. JOSHUA 24:14-18
  • 4. o This morning‟s text is Joshua‟s farewell address. o Joshua knew death was knew & he had important lessons for Israel. o Joshua recounts God‟s goodness & speaks of “The Godly Father’s Motivation.” o Because of God‟s grace, Joshua encourages the Israelites to put away their idols & speaks of “The Godly Father’s Modifications.” o Joshua puts a decision before the Israelites & speaks of “The Godly Father’s Multiplicity.” o He finally speaks of a father‟s need to lead his family & speaks of “The Godly Father’s Management.”
  • 5. vv 12-13 THE GODLY FATHER’S MOTIVATION
  • 6. o God had been so very good to Israel & Joshua reminds the people of God‟s great mercy. o “I sent the hornet before you, which drove [the Canaanites] out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant” (vv 12-13, ESV).
  • 7. o The LORD had been so good to Israel. o They had done absolutely nothing to deserve the land, but God gave them Canaan anyway. o As a result, they lived in cities they had not built. o They ate of vineyards they had not planted. o When Moses spent spies into Canaan, they cut down a cluster of grapes & had to carry that cluster on a pole between two of them (Num 13:23). o The land was so rich & the Israelites simply walked in & claimed the land.
  • 8. WHAT MOTIVATION TO BRING ONE’S CHILD TO KNOW THE LORD!
  • 9. o God had blessed the Israelites without a single act of obedience on their part. o The Lord promised to bless Abraham before the patriarch left Ur in reply to the Lord‟s command (Gen 12:1-3). o The Israelites are eating the bounty of Canaan before they put away their idols. o This does not negate the Israelites need for obedience. o If they weren‟t obedient, God would cast them out of Canaan (Deut 29:16-28). o When his people rebelled, God sent the Israelites into captivity.
  • 10. o Is it not the case that God sent his Son to die for us before we obeyed? o “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8, ESV). o “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:4-5, ESV). o This doesn‟t negate my obedience. o Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb 5:9, ESV). o But, God set all things in motion long, long before I obeyed him!
  • 11. IS THAT NOT WONDERFUL MOTIVATION TO LEAD MY CHILDREN IN RIGHTEOUSNESS?
  • 12. v 14 THE GODLY FATHER’S MODIFICATIONS
  • 13. o God‟s mercy prompts “The Godly Father” to modify his life. o “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD” (v 14, ESV).
  • 14. o To “fear the LORD” means to honor him. o Abraham‟s willingness to sacrifice Isaac demonstrated his fear of the LORD (Gen 22:12). o The LORD knew Abraham honored him, for he put God in front of his own son.
  • 15. o To “fear the LORD” means to honor him. o To “serve” the LORD primarily has the connotation of worshipping before him. o The Israelites were not to serve idols but only the LORD (Deut 4:19). o Thus, Joshua is calling upon the Israelites to worship the Lord.
  • 16. o To “fear the LORD” means to honor him. o To “serve” the LORD primarily has the connotation of worshipping before him. o The Israelites needed to fear & serve the LORD in sincerity and faithfulness. o The Israelites weren‟t to give half-hearted service but give of themselves. o “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37, ESV).
  • 17. o If the men standing before Joshua were to be godly fathers, they needed to make modifications. o “Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD” (v 14, ESV). o How could the Israelites put away these gods unless they were following them?
  • 18. o In order to lead their families in doing right, these men needed to put away the sin in their lives. o One cannot lead his family in doing what‟s right if he himself is living in sin. o If we have sin in our lives, repentance is absolutely necessary. o “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Prov 28:13, ESV). o What modifications do you need to make?
  • 19. v 15 THE GODLY FATHER’S MULTIPLICITY
  • 20. o “The Godly Father” has great multiplicity in choosing his god. o “If it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell” (v 15, ESV).
  • 21. o Joshua‟s peers had “multiple choice” when deciding the “god” question. o On the way to the Promised Land, they bowed down & worshipped a golden calf. o After they arrived in the Promised Land, they would bow down to Asherim & Baal.
  • 22. o God has always been a God of free will. o In the Garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil gave Adam & Eve a choice. o From whence comes sin? o “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (Js 1:14-15, ESV). o Sin comes from my own desires, my free will.
  • 23. We are living in an increasingly pluralistic world. WE CAN RAISE OUR CHILDREN TO KNOW THE LORD IN A PLURALISTIC SOCIETY
  • 24. HOW DO WE RAISE CHILDREN IN SUCH A WORLD?
  • 25. o Truth has always triumphed in a pluralistic world! o The Jews here are choosing to serve the LORD over pagan gods. o Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego refused to worship a golden image. o Paul encountered numerous idols in Athens. o “While Paul was waiting for them [Silas & Timothy] at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17:16, ESV). o At the Areopagus, Paul preached about the true God. o “Some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them” (Acts 17:34, ESV).
  • 26. o There is no reason to despair! o When truth & error are placed side by side, honest hearts will always choose truth. o The challenge becomes: “How do we place truth in front of our children?” o “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word” (Ps 119:9, ESV). o Let us never shy away from teaching our children truth!
  • 27. v 15 THE GODLY FATHER’S MANAGEMENT
  • 28. o Joshua pledges himself to managing his family. o “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (v 15, ESV).
  • 29. o Joshua pledges himself to the LORD before he pledges to lead his family. o In order to lead others in the right, we must follow God ourselves. o “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock” (Acts 20:28, ESV). o “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim 4:16, ESV).
  • 30. o Joshua understands that, as a man, he has a responsibility to lead his family. o “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (Eph 5:22-23, ESV). o “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (Col 3:18, ESV).
  • 31. SOME STRONGLY OBJECT TO THE IDEA OF A HUSBAND’S AUTHORITY.
  • 32. o Notice how Joshua is using his authority. o He‟s using his authority to move his family closer to heaven.
  • 33. WHAT ABOUT YOUR WIFE & CHILDREN?
  • 34. o Dr. James Dobson said, “The Western world stands at a great crossroads in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend upon the presence of absence of masculine leadership in millions of homes . . . I believe, with everything within me, that husbands hold the keys to the preservation of the family.”
  • 35. DO YOU NEED TO COME & LEAD YOUR FAMILY IN RIGHTEOUSNESS?