I. FATHER'S DAY HISTORY
Mrs. John B. Dodd first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, who was a Civil War veteran and a widower that raised six children. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.
The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. However, it was not until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's D
Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, Fathers-in-law, uncles, grandfathers, spiritual fathers, etc. are all honored on Father's Day.
I am aware that some of us had great dads and that some of us had not so great dads. I want to minister today to all of us. If you have or had a great dad, it is most likely that it is because he had a great dad. If you had a not so great dad, it is most likely because he did not have such a great dad. Let's read our scriptures and then I will explain.
1KI 14:20; 15:26; 16:16, 25-26, 28, 30; 22:40, 52, 53; 2KI 3:1-2;
2KI 18:1 . . . Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2KI 18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
2KI 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
2KI 18:5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
2KI 18:6 For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.
II. Hezekiah's Obituary
The book of 2 Kings 18:3 says that Hezekiah did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. The passage goes on to say that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him (2Ki 18:5). What an obituary Hezekiah had. I want the Lord to be able to say that about me. I want him to say, "Of all the Young's that were fathers, there were none like Delbert neither before him nor after."
A. all that David his father did
Hezekiah did according to all that David his father did. Interestingly, David (1056 B.C.) was Hezekiah's grandfather fourteen kings before Hezekiah (726 B.C.). Three hundred years later, righteous David was a direct influence to his offspring in the southern kingdom. Yet the scriptures refer to David as Hezekiah's father. The same is true about wicked Jeroboam (975 B.C.) In the northern kingdom of Israel. He was a wicked influence hundreds of years later (2Ki 17:22; 730 B.C.). Fathers' do make a difference. Dads will impart either righteousness or wickedness.
Dads, what we are doing today will not only influence us and our children and perhaps our grandchildren. I am doing something that will influence my seed hundreds of years from now. We all are. We are sending forth righteousness or wickedness. We understand that we inherit from our ancestors physical attributes. We know that healthy ancestors give us healthy bodies and that parents and ancestors who were not healthy pass on to us those traits also. For example, high blood pressure, diabetes, even cancer can be handed down from generation to generation. The same is true in the spiritual realm. I inherit, but I also pass on. I cannot do anything about what I inherit. I can do everything about what I pass on. This is especially true in the spiritual.
III. Hezekiah's Greatness
We will mention a few quick notes as to why Hezekiah was a great man. These are important if we are to be great fathers.
A. Hezekiah was able to go all the way back and draw spiritual truth from David.
2KI 18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
As previously mentioned, Hezekiah was David's grandson, but three hundred years later. Hezekiah did not settle for what his dad believed or grandfathers. He went back until he found the truth. Today we cannot settle for what our parents settled for unless they only settled for the truth. We must be certain we get it right.
B. Hezekiah removed the idols from his life.
2KI 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves . . .
What is an idol in our lives? An idol is anything that takes the Lord's time and the Lord's money. The Lord does not want all our money, nor all our time. He does what his tenth and he does want his day. Anything that removes kingdom money and kingdom time is an idol in our lives.
C. Hezekiah recognized the difference between the traditions of men and the ways of God.
. . . and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
In Numbers chapter twenty-one, the people were in the wilderness and were again complaining against God and Moses. The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and the snakes bit the people and died. Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord told him to make a brazen serpent and put it on a pole. When a person was bitten, if they would look at the brazen snake, they would not die (Num 21:5-9). That was about 1452 B.C. Hezekiah's reign was about 726 B.C. The people had made a doctrine out of the brazen serpent and were burning incense to it. Hezekiah crushed it and said it was Nehushtan, i.e., just a piece of brass. It had become a meaningless tradition of none affect.
D. He clave to the Lord, and departed not from following him.
A man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. They are to become one. They are to be as bone of bone and flesh of flesh. This is how Hezekiah attached to the Lord. The Lord was always with Hezekiah and Hezekiah was always with the Lord. Great fathers cleave to the Lord.
IV. CNN reported of a study done by the University of Maryland
ATLANTA (CNN) -- Just in time for Father's Day, new research shows that dads do make a difference in the lives of their children, and examines whatfactors influence men's involvement with their kids.
Researchers at the University of Maryland determined that children who have fathers in their lives learn better, have higher self-esteem and show fewer signs of depression than children without fathers.
The results shouldn't be surprising, according to one expert. "All you have to do is ask any child, frankly," said James Levine of the Families and Work Institute. "You don't have to ask a child development researcher if fathers make a difference. All kids will tell you that the presence of a father makes a big difference."
That is brilliant, is it not? Dad's do make a difference. Imagine that? There is nothing much more important in life than the impartation that parents place into their children. Deep values of life are permanently deposited into a person from their parents. The study mentioned previously concentrated on a child's learning ability, self-esteem, and overall happiness in relation to having a dad.
V. DAD EVALUATION
What I wanted to do today was to cause us to remember our dads, but also evaluate what kind of dads we are. I have prepared a little evaluation for us. If you are a dad, then evaluate yourself. If you are not a dad, then evaluate your dad. What kind of influence did he make upon your life?
1. How much time do you spend with your children?
A. I try to work them in between the job and the gym (whatever)
B. As much time as we can mutually stand
C. Not as much as I would like, but it's "quality time"
D. As much time as possible
2. How do you discipline your children?
A. I don't believe in disciplining children.
B. According to the principles of Dr. Spock
C. Their mother handles most of the discipline.
D. According to Biblical principles
3. How do you teach your children to be responsible?
A. They will learn responsibility when they get older.
B. I send them to boarding school
C. I repeatedly shout, "Do what I said to do!"
D. I assign chores and try to lead by example.
4. Which television show best reflects your relationship with your children?
A. 'Days of Our Lives'
B. 'The Simpsons'
C. 'Married, With Children'
D. '7th Heaven'
5. How do you teach your children spiritual things?
A. They can make their own decisions one day.
B. I leave that up to the preacher.
C. I leave that up to their mother.
D. I teach them spiritual things by example, relevance, and scriptures.
V. PRECIOUS MEMORY
Finally today, I want to take a few minutes and remember our dads. As I prepared for today, I was taken back into my memory banks. I thought about my dad and his influence in my life. I reached back to my earliest memory of daddy and then I walked through time reliving my thoughts with him. It was a wonderful and emotional experience for me.
As I moved through all my memories of my dad, there was one that was very special. I don't believe I have ever shared it with anyone. It's not that it is private. It's that I haven't thought about it for forty years. I was in the sixth grade and the year would have been 1960. My teacher's name was Mr. Flemming and he was talking about how times change. He used the example of when he was a boy he was forced to make his own toys. He talked about how boys parents bought all their toys today. Mr. Flemming challenged all the boys to a toy making contest. We were to go home and make a toy. It was a homework assignment, but also the boy who made the best toy would win twenty dollars and that was a lot of money to a twelve year old in 1960. The rules were simple. The toy had to be made of stuff we could find at home. Anyone could help, but it had to be made at home. I went home and told daddy about the assignment. Daddy said confidently that we would win that twenty dollars, and we did. He helped me make a six-shooter, rapid fire pistol from an old piece of 1x6 lumber, a piece of string, and an old inner tube. The piece of wood was cut in the shape of a pistol and then notched on top toward the back of the barrel. Pieces of inner tube cut like large rubber bands were stretched and held by the notch. Before the pieces of inner tube was stretched to the notches, the string, which was tied around the end of the barrel, was laid on top of the barrel and over the notches. The string, when lifted, would release a piece of stretched inner tube in the direction the pistol was pointed. One piece of inner tube could be released at a time, or all six could be shot rapidly. It was a winner! Mr. Flemming was impressed and I won the $20.00.
Of course, daddy took me fishing. He taught me how to make and fly kites. He helped me build two houses. He always took us on vacation. My daddy was one of the lovingest men I have ever known. My mom and I were always close and I always thought closer than my dad and me. However, it is daddy that I dream about and think about most often.
I would like for you to write a one paragraph memory you have about your dad. If he is still alive, great. Tell him your special memory. If he is not alive, then do what I did and that was cry and miss one of the most special people that God could have given me to be my dad.
Today is Father's Day. It's the day we remember our Fathers. Do that today. If your dad has gone on, then remember the good things he imparted to you. If he is still here, tell him personally how special he is to you and tell him your special memory. If you can, go see him or call him. Also, there are spiritual fathers. Paul said that Timothy was his son in the Lord. If you can, tell your spiritual father how special he is to you. Finally, don't forget to tell the Father how special he is to you. Take a moment sometime today. Visit with the heavenly Father. You will be glad you did.