Sour Grapes for Father's Day

by Dennis Michelson
(Novelty, Ohio)

Ezekiel 18:2-4

Introduction: The text indicates that fathers are responsible for their influence on their children but the children are ultimately responsible to God for their actions. Some compare Exodus 20:5 with Ezekiel 18:2-4 and conclude that God somehow punishes children for the sins of their fathers. Examine these six fathers and reach your own conclusion.

1. The Wicked Father - Manasseh (II Kings 21)

This father gave up his son to a false god. Notice previous generations and those which followed. Do bad fathers automatically yield bad children?

2. The Worldy Father - Lot (Genesis 19)

He basically lost his family to materialism and a worldly outlook on life. Who was his father? What about his children?

3. The Weak Father - Eli (I Samuel 4:10-11)

He was too permissive and did not restrain his sons when it was his responsibility to do so.

4. The Witchcraft Father - Saul (I Samuel 28 and 31)

This father drifted so far away from the truth that God killed him. Who was his father? What about his sons?

5. The Wayward Father - David (II Samuel 12)

This story is filled with a dead baby in II Samuel 12; incest in the case of Amnon in II Samuel 13; and Absalom's rebellion and death in II Samuel 17 and 18. Who was this man's father? What about his sons?

6. The Wise Father - Joshua (Joshua 24:14-15)

It cannot be stated any better than this father's declaration that as for him and his house, they would serve the Lord.

Conclusion: The only perfect parent was God. In Isaiah 1 He declared "I have brought up children and they have rebelled against me." Remember - parents (and especially fathers) are responsible for the influence they have on their children but those children are ultimately responsible for their choices and actions.

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