Happy Father’s Day!
Fatherhood is big in the Bible. Biblical history is full of fathers as we often see in genealogical lists in scripture. Both Matthew and Luke give us an extended list of the fathers down to Jesus Christ. Luke even goes back to Adam.
This is one of the reasons it is important to view all of scripture as a real historical context on an actual living timeline of things that truly occurred right here on planet earth in physical space and temporal existence. These are not clever tales of myths generated from the imaginations of fertile minds. The Bible places its events in the context of real living people who witnessed and experienced and retold these things. You and I may not know much about our ancestry, but we do have one. You are here in part because of fatherhood.
In May we have Mother’s Day, in June we celebrate Father’s Day, and this is good. I hope we never see the day that these are dismantled because some confused people become offended by them as sexist. Even sexually confused people have a father. It’s inescapable. Fatherhood points us back to the ultimate Father, our Father in heaven, Creator of all, from whom all things come and by whom all have life and breath and everything else.
So with that introduction, I invite you to look at a handout that lists the kings and prophets of Israel and Judah, the divided kingdom period. Kings of the northern kingdom rarely lasted more than two generations. Most of these Northern kings were wicked men and their families were cut off and destroyed.
On the other hand, the kings of Judah were all from the line of David, with one break in about 840 BC where Athaliah, grand-daughter of Ahab and Jezebel became ruling Queen. This happened because Jehoshaphat foolishly made an alliance with Ahab’s family and took one of Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter’s to be his son’s wife. Be careful who you marry. Athaliah tried her best to kill off all of David’s descendants. But God preserved David’s line through Joash. We’ll get to that in this next week’s readings. David’s fatherhood would eventually lead us to Jesus the Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.
For the balance of today’s lesson, as a Father’s Day Bible story, I want to read from 2 Chronicles 19-20.
I’ll show some images of this to help capture your imaginations as we read.
2 Chronicles 19:1-11 (read)
Would you not say that Jehoshaphat was a faithful godly man? How does God reward such faithfulness? Well, times of trouble come. They come on us all, whether we are faithful or not, but those who are faithful have a huge advantage. We have the assurance of God’s support and care. There are times when God allows us to endure, but there are some times when God steps in and delivers in amazing ways. Listen to one of those times.
2 Chronicles 20:1-30 (read)
Fathers are your eyes on the Lord? Do your children know it? Are you setting an example for them in this? Do your talk about trusting in God’s provision with your children? Let this Father’s Day be a day of recommitment to Fatherhood God’s way. Fathers and grandfathers here today, will you stand?