"TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FATHER"
by: Pastor Mike MacIntosh, 
Horizon Christian Fellowship, San Diego
Sermon given Father's Day, 2003

1 Samuel 17:55

Mike MacIntosh

7102-21

Last night a gentleman named Eric shared a testimony.  He was at Chapter &Verse the previous Saturday when we were talking about how dysfunctional King David’s family was.  I made a very strong emphasis to everybody that was there, to go to their family and if there were any walls or barriers up with a mom or a dad, brothers or sisters – to get them over with.  We need to let the love of God work in our families.  Eric came to me just before the service started and shared this story and I asked him if he would share it with everyone.  Last Saturday night Eric was sitting in the service and for some reason he thought I was staring right at him as I spoke.  Eric left the service that night determined to reconnect with his mother, whom he hadn’t seen for 20 years.  As a matter of fact he had not talked to his family in 20 years.  So he started by making contact with his aunt and uncle.  When he talked to them, they asked if he knew his mother was dying?  Eric went to the hospital where his mother was on her deathbed.  She had not seen him in 20 years.  He asked her forgiveness for being such a bullheaded, strong-willed guy and he shared the Lord with her.  She accepted the Lord on her deathbed.  Eric was able to bring his little daughter to visit his mother and for the first time she saw her granddaughter.  Is that a cool deal or what?

So we’re going to look this morning at two short stories about dads.  We are going to start in I Samuel, chapter 10. Let’s pick up at verse 6:

  “‘The spirit of the Lord will come upon you [Saul says] and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.’”  [The anointing of God had come upon Saul when he was anointed with oil by Samuel the prophet.]  “’And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.  You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings.  Seven days you shall wait till I come to you and show you what you should do.’  So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.  When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.  And it happened when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, ‘What is this that has come upon the son of Kish?  Is Saul also among the prophets?’  Then a man from there answered and said, ‘But who is their father?’  Therefore it became a Proverb: ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’  And when he had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.” 

Now if you were to look in maybe a dozen different commentaries you would see that this question, “But who is their father?” is very profound.  Jamison, Fawcett and Brown, in their commentary, went to the Septuagint, (early scriptures from the Jews), where it reads, “Who is his father?” referring to the son of Kisch.  Adam Clark’s commentary did a little deeper Hebrew study and found that statement was “But who is their father?”  He found that in the Septuagint, in its principle editions when it was first translated, added the Hebrew words “Who is their father?” meaning “Who is his father, is it not Kish?”  Otherwise when they saw Saul they were aware that it was contrary for him to be a prophet and to be prophesying.  Little did they know he was going to be their king?  So for him to be there prophesying led them to say,  “But who is his father?  Isn’t it Kish?”  There was nobody in the Kish family from the Levitical line and no reason for the father to put his son among the prophets.  So they were kind of astounded.  

But the next thing is somewhat profound.  It says, “Then a man from there answered and said, ‘but who is their father?’  Therefore it became a proverb: ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’” Now John Wesley in his early commentaries said, “Who is the father of all these prophets among whom Saul now is one? Who is it that instructs and inspires them but God? They have it not from their parents, nor from their education, but by inspiration from God, who when He pleases can inspire Saul or any other man with the same skill and therefore wonder not of this matter but give God the glory for it.”  So what Wesley is basically saying is God is his father, forget about his earthly father.  For him to be able to exercise his spiritual gift is because God blesses a man or blesses a woman and gives talent to them and inspiration.”  It’s not given to them by their parents, it’s not something a teacher instructs them in, but it’s God’s inspiration.  So when the question was raised “But who is their father?” the real question was “Where did this come from?”  This man was pretty astute when he says “But it is God.”  As my daughter-in-law Sarah’s six-year-old nephew said last night “Jesus is the main Father.”  You see there is an earthly father but there is a Heavenly Father and what you have that is inspired by God cannot be given to you by your parents; it has to be given by God himself. 

Now there’s another verse that we looked at in studying David’s life and that was in        I Samuel chapter 25, verses 9 and 10.  David had been battling the Philistines and he was exhausted.  There was a very wealthy man named Nabal.  Nabal was a scoundrel; that is what the King James called him.  He was a hardheaded, self-centered man.  Nabal had a lot of the people who worked for him and David sent some of his soldiers to Nabal asking this question, “Would you please give bread and water to my men who are defending the country from the Philistines?”  Nabal also had a beautiful wife; she was gorgeous.  Her name was Abigail.  We saw last night as we finished Second Samuel, that there were three women who really changed the course of events in David’s life and one of them was Abigail.  In verses 9 and 10:  

“So when David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited.  Then Nabal answered David’s servants and said, ‘Who is David and who is the son of Jesse?’  There are many servants nowadays who break away, each one from his master.’” 

Who is David and who is his father? Who is Jesse? I could care less. Well when David heard this he said “I want a whole contingency, we’re gonna go kill that man, burn his house to the ground, destroy everything he has, this is disrespect to my father, this is disrespect to me,” But Abigail comes along and brings a couple of donkey’s loaded with raisins and honey and bread and food and comes to David. He’s astounded at how pretty she is and he ends up backing off from his warrior spirit.  She says, “Listen this guy is a complete idiot.  You know, he’s not thinking clearly so please let there be peace among you.”  So anyhow the guy dies of a heart attack or something and the next day David marries Abigail.  He didn’t waste any time; he knew a good thing when he saw it.

So here we see in the book of First Samuel the question is raised, “Who is their father?” Who is his father that allows him to be spiritual?  Then another question is raised “Who is his father?  Who is Jesse?  Who is David that I should honor him?”  So now we realize the importance of the earthly father and the Heavenly Father as and questions are raised about who the fathers are.  

Irma Bombeck, a little piece of America as I call her, died not too many months ago. Irma, as you know, was very sharp with her pen and very sharp with her tongue.  She wrote many, many best-selling books, was a columnist in all the major newspapers in the United States of America and was very humorous.  She was very down to earth - extremely down to earth and related to everybody and every family, but always did it in a humorous way. Some of the truths she brings out are a little bit painful but always humorous.  I came across this article that she wrote for a newspaper at one time called, “When God Created Fathers” by Irma Bombeck.

 When the good Lord was creating fathers, he started with a tall frame.  A female angel nearby said, “What kind of father is that?  If you’re going to make children so close to the ground why have you put fathers up so high?  He won’t be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping.”  God smiled and He said, “Yes but if I make him child size whom would children have to look up to?”  And when God made a father’s hand they were large and sinewy, and the angel shook her head sadly and said, “Do you know what you’re doing?  Large hands are clumsy, they can’t manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on ponytails, or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats.”  And God smiled and He said, “I know but they’re large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pocket at the end of a day, yet small enough to cup a child’s face in his hands.”  And then God molded long slim legs and broad shoulders and the angel nearby had a heart attack.  “Boy this is the end of the week all right,” she clucked.  “Do you realized you just made a father without a lap?  How is he gonna pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?”  And God smiled and He said, “A mother needs a lap, a father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle or hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus.”  Now God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer.  “That’s not fair, do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries, or walks through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?”  And God smiled and He said, “They’ll work, you’ll see.  They’ll support a small child who wants to run a horse or scare off mice at the summer cabin or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill.”  God worked throughout the night giving the father few words but a firm authoritative voice, eyes that saw everything but remained calm and tolerant.  Finally, almost as an afterthought He added tears and then He turned to the angel and said, “Now are you satisfied that he can love as much as a mother?”  The angel shuteth up.

Dads are pretty special – very, very special.  I’d like to mention my friend Mike Turk’s dad for a moment. I don’t mean to put him on the spot but I am.  Mike’s father wrote me one of the nicest letters I’ve ever received in 33 years of ministry, and it’s basically due to you all.  It was after the Christmas Eve just a couple of years ago that we held down in Symphony Hall and Mike and Karen, Lauren and Mikey Turk were there with Mike’s parents.  A few days after Christmas I got a manila envelope in the mail with a nice letter from Mr. Turk and some newspaper clippings.  They were pictures of him when he was a Navy man.  He was an officer and I think he was responsible for security, like a policeman on a ship.  On Christmas Eve 1941, somewhere in the Pacific, his ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.  Basically, everyone was killed except for just a handful of men who floated for several days and nights in the ocean just hanging onto debris until they were rescued.  So from 1941 until 2001 Christmas was a really rough time for Mr. Turk.  But that Christmas Eve sitting there with the camels and all the animals we had on stage and the music and the hundreds of children that were there, in the fun and loving atmosphere, the Lord spoke to Mr. Turk’s heart about what Christmas was really about.  After all those years of posttraumatic stress syndrome from war, he found peace in his heart and he felt at peace with Jesus and with God and he wrote me this great letter.  

A couple of months later I was in Orange County and Mike and I were on the telephone with each other. He told me that his father had walked in the room when he just collapsed in front of him.  So I canceled what I was doing in Orange County and drove 100 miles an hour down to Scripps Hospital where he was hospitalized. The final night before Mr. Turk went to be with the Lord, Mike and Karen and Lauren and Mikey and Mrs. Turk and I were in the room praying for him.  He was in a coma, unconscious.   It was late in the evening on Sunday and we got up to leave and were walking down the hall when for some reason I wanted to turn around and go back into the room.  I liked Mike’s father, he was always kind to me and - I just liked him.  When I got to his room it was almost like I had to say, “Excuse me” when I walked into the room ‘cause the Lord was standing beside his bed.  The presence of the Lord was so powerful in that room.  I looked out the door and I saw Mike just going around the corner with his family and I wanted to say, “Come back.”   Then I realized that Mr. Turk had found the ultimate peace; that peace we are re all going to find.  It was such an overwhelming experience, just a wonderful experience.

Fathers have so much influence in our lives.  I want to show you another question that is raised about fathers, which could influence you too.  Would you turn to First Samuel chapter 17 and let’s look at another portion of scripture.  Let’s look at verse 55.  Saul is going to raise a question.  David is a young boy and his father’s name is Jesse.  There are seven boys in his family.  Samuel has been sent to Jesse’s house to find the new king and to anoint him with oil.  In doing so, he lines Jesse’s sons up and as he looks at each one.  He says, “Boy this guy’s really handsome, he has to be the king.”  The Lord says, “No not that one.”  Samuel moves to the next one, “Boy this guy is really tall.”  “No he’s not the one.”  “Man this one’s tall and handsome.”  “No he’s not the one.”  He went through them all and God said, “No he’s not the one.”  So then he says to Jesse, “Do you have any more children?”  Jesse says, “Well we have a small boy, the runt of the litter, he’s out watching the sheep.”  They disdained David for some reason.  David was a man after God’s heart and he loved the Lord.  So they find David and God says “This is the one I have called.” It isn’t that God looks at the outward appearance of man but God looks at the heart and David had a great heart.  So the story goes on in this chapter and David’s father sends him down to see how his brothers were faring in the war.  The Philistines were fighting the Jews and they were all paralyzed with fear because there was this nine-foot Philistine giant named Goliath.  David sees him as he is cursing the Jews and says, “How dare you defy the armies of the living God, who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” and David goes to battle.  The king is afraid to fight him so he gives David his armor and David says “No this is all too heavy for me, it’s too big, I’m not trained in it.  When I was watching my father’s sheep a bear came in to steal a lamb and I grabbed a hold of that bear and I beat him with a club.  Another time a lion stole a lamb - had the lamb in his mouth and I took him by the hair of his chinny chin chin and I beat him with a club.  God has delivered the lambs into my hands from the beasts and He’s gonna do the same with this uncircumcised Philistine.”  Brave little kid!  And Saul says, “Well okay go ahead.”  So David gives Saul back his armor and he says that he will use his slingshot because  “I know how to work this.”  He took five smooth stones and he put them in a bag on his side and he started running toward Goliath and he threw a stone and of course you know the story, he killed the giant.

I want to pick up the story there, when Saul saw David in verse 55, going out against the Philistines.  He said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this boy?”  And Abner said, “As your soul lives oh king, I do not know.”  Now notice that the king was watching David be fearless against a giant and he asks “Whose son is this youth?” So the king said, “Inquire whose son this young man is.”  And then as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.  Here is the boy walking up to the king - the king should have been fighting the giant - he’s walking up with the head of Goliath in his hand.  Now imagine if he’s nine feet tall how big that head was.  He probably hadn’t had a haircut for a long time ‘cause there weren’t scissors big enough.  But he’s got the head in his hand and look what Saul says.  “Saul said to him, ‘Whose son are you young man?’ And David said, ‘I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlemite’.”

 Now I want to take a little leisure here and read to you what it says in the New Living Bible; and Saul said, “Tell me about your father.”  “Tell me about your father?”  is what he simply is saying.  He says “Tell me about your father my boy.”  He sees him as a boy.  David says “Oh I’ll tell you about my father, his name is Jesse.”  To a boy who admires his father he would assume that name should have meant something to the king  - “And we live in Bethlehem.” He was proud of this very humble, small community.  When the word went out from King Herod to kill all the boys two years old and under when Jesus was born, there were about 11,000 people living in Bethlehem, probably less when David was a boy there.  So he’s saying to the king that he’s not impressed with the king - he respects the king but I mean he’s just killed a nine-foot giant and he’s holding his head.  “Tell me about your father.”  “Well his name is Jesse and we live in Bethlehem We’re humble people, we’re poor people and by the way I have the head of this giant in my hand, what do you want me to do with it?” You know?  “Tell me about your father?”  This boy thought that just saying his father’s name was enough and where they lived was enough because he felt it said everything.  

The king’s question is very very important to all of us.  The king says tell me about your father for the king knew what he was asking.  The king would know the father by the son because the attributes of the father are seen in the son.  If this boy is so brave how brave is the father?  if this boy has such vision for his nation how much vision does the father have?  “Tell me about your father because your attributes reflect your father, you reflect your father, son.  Tell me about your father.  This is somebody that has raised you in a home that is very secure and very confident.  He has set a great atmosphere In your home because you were so relaxed in my presence and you are so strong in the Lord that you are willing to go with a slingshot against that giant.  I watched you as you went after the giant.  When the giant said that he was going to deliver your flesh to the birds of the air you said ‘’I’m going to kill you and I’m going to deliver the flesh of all the Philistine army.’ You had such faith - tell me about your father.”  

You see dads today it shows us that you and I reflect in the lives of our children more than we ever believe and you future dads need to see the responsibility that you have.  This responsibility is so freely given up by the majority of fathers in America today and that is what has destroyed our country. “ Tell me about your father?”  Because he knew that a father has a lot of power to shape the future, but little did he know that the future of Israel was going to be shaped by this little boy that had the head of the giant in his hand.  The king was wise enough to know that whoever the father was he was a good guy and that this father had so influenced his son that the son had all the attributes of a king.  Now isn’t this a picture of God?  The Son reflects the Father; “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.” Jesus said.  Isn’t that something that the king said “Tell me about your father?”   

Did you know that American youth are 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide if they come from a fatherless home?  Ninety percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes, 90 percent of them all on the street are from fatherless homes. [Source: Center for Disease Control]  You know, we’re the only church in the country that operates a national youth crisis hotline - it’s yours.  If you’ve never seen the war room where the calls are sent out, it’s two buildings down.  It is so sad that about 48 percent of the kids that call 24 hours around the clock throughout America do not get someone to talk to on our phone line because so few people volunteer or help support it.  But 10,000 kids every month are calling and begging for help and yet we don’t have the money to keep it on line and we’re questioning if we’re going to have to shut it down.  How sad, that there are so many kids saying “help me if you can.”  They want the help and since 1989 when Billy Graham’s friend Jim Voss gave that ministry to us, I have learned that the number one problem is a lack of love and communication in the families in America.  Yes - 90 percent of those that are runaways come from fatherless homes.

Turn to Ephesians chapter 4, because I want to show you just a handful of things that can keep us strong as a nation when our fathers are strong.  In Ephesians in the New Testament, Saint Paul is writing about how the children should respond to their parents, because if you honor your mother and father it says in the Old Testament, that you will have longevity and if you dishonor your parents you are going to die young.  But look what he said in Ephesians 6 verse 4:  “And you fathers do not provoke your children to wrath but bring them up in the training and the admonition of the Lord.”  What does it mean when 90 percent of the youth that are runaways are from fatherless homes?  There are about 1.33 million kids living on the streets right now [Source: http://www.senate.gov/~leahy/press/199806/980626a.html] and over 2,200 on the streets in San Diego.  Did you know that?  They are without parents.  Leah Gaffrey and her husband Kelly operate Care House, a ministry of support for these kids.  They’re helping educate, clothe and support the kids by giving gifts and bringing love to them.  The homosexual community has opened up a place in Hillcrest for the street kids and they tell them great things about boys having sex with men and girls having sex with women.  Yet the Christian community sits back and does nothing for these fatherless children.  With the statistic of ninety percent being from fatherless homes that tells us that 1,800 of these kids in our city alone are fatherless children.  Now I would say the majority, if not all of the research that has been done concerning homosexuality shows it all goes back to a fatherless child or an image problem with the father.  It is not something you’re born with it is something that a father in the household has failed to instill.  Probably 99.9 percent of sexual identity crises come because the father image is skewed in the household.  Fathers, do not provoke your children.  How often we can provoke our children to be angry or upset?  “Oh you don’t understand me” you know, and most fathers don’t understand when the children become teenagers because we forget what it was like to be a teenager.  So we are not to provoke them, but bring them up in training - train your children.  

Isn’t it interesting that this book, the Bible, is not allowed to be used as a training tool publicly in our education system?  And this Book tells us how a child should grow up to be a woman, how a child should grow up to be a man and how God fearing men and women can build a nation together. Without this Book we’re just like every other nation.  When this book was lifted up in this nation we were the best and the strongest, the most benevolent and most loving and we were blessed with everything in the area of creativity because God’s blessings were upon our country.  You fathers do no provoke your children to wrath but bring them up in the training and the admonition so they will admire God.  Did you know according to the Center for Disease Control that 85 percent of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes? [Source: http://www.fathersforlife.org/divorce/chldrndivstats.htm]  Some of you are schoolteachers and you see it in your classrooms.  They come from fatherless homes. The problem people in our society come from fatherless homes, it’s that simple.  According to the Criminal Justice and Behavior Book Volume 6 in their magazine 80 percent of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.  The attacks of men against women on campuses result from fatherless homes.  The attacks of men against women in Pacific Beach result from fatherless homes.  These acts of violence against women have their roots in fatherless homes. “Tell me about your father son, I’m impressed.  I watched you go to war.  I am impressed with you and I would sure like to know your dad because your dad did something in the home that is really astounding, tell me about your father?”  

Look at Proverbs chapter 1 verse 8.  King Solomon of course wrote the majority of these Proverbs and he tells us that his father King David gave these Proverbs to him through training.  David spent time instructing him telling his son that the things he is going to give him will help him grow and one of the major things he told him as a young man was to keep away from women.  “Don’t let a woman take you with the beauty of her eyes, watch out for that, don’t go to prostitutes.”   And he warned him about keeping lust under control.  Now look what he says to his son, Proverbs 1:8, “My son hear he instruction of your father.”  Hear the instruction of your father, but if a father is not in the home to instruct the son he doesn’t hear the right way to live.  Now look what he says here, “Hear the instruction of your father.”  According to the National Principals’ Association report on the state of high schools, 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [http://www.fathersforlife.org/divorce/chldrndivstats.htm]  Hear the instruction of your father, 71 percent of high school dropouts in the United States of America come from fatherless homes - no instruction in the home.  I’m a high school dropout and I didn’t have a father that said  “No don’t do this.”  When I went to all the teachers to sign out of school I had only one teacher that tried to stop me - only one out of all the teachers.  She said, “I can get you a scholarship, either to Portland University or the University of Oregon, in journalism. You have abilities and you need to follow these abilities. Don’t quit high school.”  Had a father been there it would have been different.  So you can understand why 71 percent of our dropouts are because of fatherless homes. 

Now turn to Proverbs chapter 1 and let’s look at verse 10.  The training keeps going on from the father to the son.  Proverbs chapter 1 - just down the page there, we’ll look at verse 10.  “My son if sinners entice you do not consent, if they say come with us let us lie in wait to shed blood, gangs, let us lurch secretly for the innocent without cause…” Have you seen this weekend the newscast of a young man standing on a street corner and this kid comes up and hits him for no reason at all, snaps his neck, kid falls over backwards.  It was a prank.  They played it over and over and over all weekend.  It has been playing and they were saying, “What is causing this?”  One news commentator said. “Well I hate to say this but there was a recent teenage movie out that showed this act.  Where the kids in the movie were just going up and randomly hitting people and I know people are going to say ‘No movies don’t inspire kids.’”  But they played this enough that people in that town recognized who the boy was that slugged the other kid and they’ve now apparently arrested him.  But just randomly going out and doing evil things, this is what David was warning Solomon about.  “If sinners entice you, don’t consent, if they say come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood, let us lurk secretly for the innocent without any cause at all, let us swallow them alive like sheol or hell and whole like those who go down to the pit we shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil, let’s rob, let’s steal, let’s vandalize.” That’s what he’s saying.  “Cast your lot among us, let us all have one purse; we’ll share everything we get in this gang.  My son do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path for their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed blood, surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird but they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurch secretly for their own lives.  So are the ways of everyone who are greedy for gain, that takes away the life of its owners.”  What wisdom from a father to his son!  He said, “Don’t let peer pressure destroy you.”

Now sadly we lost a police officer in Oceanside, I’m sure you’ve seen this on the news over the weekend He had been a police officer for 13 months.  He had just had finished working with his FTO, his Field Training Officer.  A routine traffic stop and a young 22-year-old guy murdered the cop over a routine traffic stop.  He had a young baby and a young wife.  Now this young man - his life is gone.  Here’s a guy sitting there with guilt on his mind and I bet if we trace it back it’ll be a fatherless home that this murderer came from.  Why would you want to shoot a police officer for pulling you over or stopping you to investigate what you’re doing or to give you a ticket?  What would cause a man to be so gone and be drinking so much?  He was just kicked out of a bar where he was told he had been drinking too much.  I bet we could find that this person came from a fatherless home.  No don’t let peer pressure get to you my son.  Did you know that according to the United States Department of Justice in a special report, 70 percent of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes?  [http://www.fathersforlife.org/divorce/chldrndivstats.htm]  Seventy percent.  Do you know that San Diego’s Juvenile Center, right off of Genesee Ave., was built for 200 beds for kids and they get up to 450 kids at a time on some weekends.  They’re sleeping on the floor over there.  Seventy percent of them are from fatherless homes.  “Tell me about your father.  I watched you go to battle and I’m so impressed with you.  But I think it came from the training in the home.  Tell me about your father son, I want to know about him.”  “Well his name is Jesse, I’m proud to tell you his name, you know him don’t you King?” That’s what David’s saying to him, “Of course you know my father don’t you?  Jesse, we’re from Bethlehem.”  The king didn’t know who he was.  You see how proud the boy is, “I’ll tell you about my dad.”  He didn’t say “He’s got a graduate degree, he’s got a lot of money, boy he’s powerful, he’s a CEO, man he has real estate and stocks and bonds and lives in a cool house and belongs to the country club and my dad’s influential.”  No he just said, “His name is Jesse, you know him don’t you?  We live in Bethlehem.”  No, never heard of him.  But David is going to be somebody that Saul is going to hear about for the rest of his life - until the end of his life.  

According to the Fulton County Georgia jail population and Texas Department of Corrections 85 percent of all youth sitting in prison grew up in a fatherless homes.  [Source: www.fathers.bc.ca/neglect.htm]  Our prisons are jammed and overflowing.  All those people sitting there and 85 percent of them are from fatherless homes.  We don’t have the money to support the prison system anymore ladies and gentlemen.  We don’t have the money to build new prisons.  We don’t have the money anymore to support the education system ladies and gentlemen. We don’t have the money to build new buildings.  Yet we were told if we would just sign off on the lottery there would be hundreds of millions of dollars for schoolteachers, wages and brand new modern facilities and technology in all the schools of California.  Isn’t it interesting we signed off on the criminal element of the lottery and gambling?  It’s not rich people that buy those lottery tickets; it’s the people that are on welfare that buy the tickets.  It’s the people that don’t have money and can’t afford it that are looking for the get-rich-quick scheme.  Eighty five percent of those that are in the prisons were raised in fatherless homes.  How sad.

Look at Proverbs chapter 4 and look what he says to his son here in verse 1.  “Hear my children the instruction of a father and give attention to know understanding.”   According to U.S. “News and World Report”, nearly two out of every five children in America do not live in a home with a father.  Two out of every five children in our country do not have a father in their home.  Tell me about your father?  If you stop and think about your father, you can say, “Well my father, he…” and you can tell some great things about your dad.  Or some of you may say, “Well my father was a bum.  Or my father left the family.  My father, he’s nothing to you.”  But God had a plan for the father, a very interesting plan.  What do all these statistics mean regarding children from fatherless homes?  Well here’s what it means:  Fatherless children are 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide, 6.6 times more likely to become teenage mothers if they’re girls.  They are 24.3 times more likely to run away, 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders, 6.3 times more likely to be in a state operated institution, 10.8 times more likely to commit rape, 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school and 15.3times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager [Source: http://www.fathersforlife.org/divorce/chldrndivstats.htm] 

“Son, tell me about your father?”  Dads that are here today - you and I have a great honor.  For you young daddies do not take it lightly that you’re a father.  Society has said, “If you get tired of this wife dump her, go on and get another one and another one and another one.  Have all the children you want but you don’t need to be responsible for these kids.”  Yes you do, yes you do!

The devil is not stupid, he knew what would happen if you debase women and make them just objects of sex.  You look at everything in the media today and it is all about a woman being sexy.  She has no worth if she doesn’t have a chest or she doesn’t have abs or she can’t wear a bikini.  She has no worth if she doesn’t have bright shiny teeth or doesn’t have sparkling blue eyes and blonde hair.  She doesn’t have any worth if she can’t be a wild woman and lift her blouse up at the Mardi Gras. She has no worth if she cannot be a sex toy for boys.  What a sick image.  So the devil knew he could get that for the women.  Then to the men the devil says, “If they are just consumed with themselves.”  Look at all the beer ads, they’re young “Studly DoRites.” He says to them, “be an athlete, be strong, be flexible and just be the guy in the right car at the right time.”  And all the television shows that are on right now, the virtual reality shows.  Look at all these shows about surviving and all the men and women and the conflicts that they put between them.  Then you see the “Elimidate” and “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” and it’s all about sex.  The little balloons that come out with the cartoons sayings what they’re really thinking about, it’s all about sex.  Women are only tools for men to have sex with and men are the strongest of society.  Well God made man and woman.  He didn’t just make man and women are not man’s sex tools. But the devil knew that if you could get the minds twisted and you could separate them and then you could get men to think that they’re women so have sex with men and women to think that they’re men and have sex with women and then everybody is confused.  And if you could destroy the family you’d have the nation - you’d have the planet. That’s the Devil’s whole goal - he wants the planet.  Remember he’s just an old viper, he’s a slithering snake, he’s an older dragon, he’s the accuser of the brethren and he knew that if he could strike the father he’d get everything he wanted.  From the very beginning Satan knew if you divided the father from the family he’d have planet earth.  Today he is still dividing fathers from their children and doing so destroys not just the family but destroys an entire nation.

“Who is he that is prophesying, is this not the son of Kish?”  We know the heritage of this young man Saul.  We know who his father is and we know that there’s nothing going on spiritually in his life.  All of a sudden this man is a spiritual man and one man gets it right when he says, “The inspiration has come from God.”  God is the father who gives us spiritual gifts.  It is God who gives a man the gift to be called a father.  Want to know something pretty astounding?  The very first word in the Hebrew dictionary is a two-letter word.  Do you know what it is? It is “A-b”,  “Ab” - that word means father.  The very first word in their language God says is most important.  God the Father gave this authority and power to a man to be a father.  What a privilege.  You know it goes from “Daddy” to “Dad.”  Well from “Da-da” to “Daddy” and then “Dad.”  Then it goes to “Pop” and then you get a little older and it’s “Father” and then it’s “Hey you can I have the car?” or “Can I have some money?”  But don’t you find it kind of interesting that the first word in their language is “father?”  That says a lot, Ab. Then stop and think about that king saying “Tell me about your father?”

If you’ll look in closing here at Romans chapter 8, you’ll see something very interesting that God gives to you and me this morning.  Romans chapter 8 verse 15;  I would like you to stand and read this together before we go home this morning.  Would you read this out loud together?  

“For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ”Abba, Father.  The Spirit Himself bears witness with out spirit that we are children of God.”

Abba Father.  Would you say that?  “Aba Father.”  The first word in the Hebrew language is “Ab” – ”father.”  Ab and then reverse ba is “abba” – “daddy.”  You have been adopted into the throne of God with a Spirit of adoption that says you can cry out “Daddy” to God almighty.  That is the word that was used by a little girl or a little boy for their father.  It is the most intimate of terms in their entire language.  “Daddy” – “Abba.”

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads but from all of us Happy Father’s Day to Abba Father, He’s your daddy, He’s personal and through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, He so loved you that He gave His life for you that you could come home and be one with His Father.  “For in my Father’s house there are many mansions and I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you may be also and if I go I shall come again and receive you unto myself…if you’ve seen me you have seen the Father.  You have received the Spirit of adoption and you are adopted heirs to the throne of God, so that you can cry out “Daddy.”  He’s not a mean old guy sitting up there with a baseball bat ready to thump you - He’s your daddy.  And for those of you that are daddies remember that to have a little girl or a boy grab a hold this big index finger and walk with you through the park is an honor.  To have this big hand that can reach into the wallet and the checkbook and write the college tuition is an honor.  To be the grandpa and to be able to pick them up and to take them to the doctor’s, that’s an honor.  To be able to say yes this is my son and for you and me to be able to sit with someone and them to say, “Tell me about your father?”  We can answer, “Do you want know about the one that lives in Heaven or the one that lives in Bethlehem?” David told him about the one in Bethlehem, because he was so proud of his father.

So I’d like to say this to all the Dads, if you have done anything that makes your children not proud of you well that can put a lot of guilt on you.  Yet God says love covers a multitude of sin.  A lot of you need to do what Eric told us last night that he did.  You need to go back to your children, and many of you need to go back to your father, and just simply ask forgiveness and let the healing take place.  For some of us our fathers have gone and we’ll never ever be able to say, “I’m sorry” or “Would you give me a hug for the first time in my life?”  But God is your Abba Father who is able to do that freely and easily.  Abba Father - Daddy.  That’s why there’s a Father’s Day, so you’ll remember your Heavenly Father loves you.

Father this morning we pray that your Spirit would just take our hearts and draw us closely to you and we thank you that you’ve allowed us to cry out with a Spirit of adoption, that you’ve adopted us from this physical family into your spiritual family, that you have adopted us away from this flesh into your spirit, you’ve adopted us from the things of the world into the kingdom of heaven, you’ve adopted us away from all of our life into your life and what a thrill to know that we get the privilege as men to reflect you into our children and we pray for the hundreds of children that are represented here this very moment wherever they are, whatever they’re doing may your Holy Spirit minister to them.  And may they be good citizens of San Diego, of California, of the United States of America that leaders of our country would say tell me about your father.  We see all these statistics how failed fathers and failed homes have brought all the trouble to our nation, and this hour we pray that we could dedicate ourselves to being examples of our Heavenly Father that would reflect upon our children, that would reflect upon and heal our nation.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  

 

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