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A Foster Father

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Bad Families

Today is Father’s Day
A day we focus on and remember our fathers,
The role they played in our lives
And the role we fathers have in the lives of our children.
But not all of us had good families.
Let’s face it, none of our families were perfect.
In Chronicles chapter 22, we read of one such family.
2 Chronicles 22:10–12 NKJV
Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she did not kill him. And he was hidden with them in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
Imagine your father dies and your grandmother kills all your brothers.
The only reason you are alive is because your aunt hides you from her.
Your aunt happens to be married to the high priest Jehoiada,
And they hide you in the temple for six years.
Imagine what that family reunion would be like?
You think you have problems in your family?
2 Chronicles 23:1–3 NKJV
In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri. And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has said of the sons of David.
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Your uncle, the high priest, summons up his strength,
To quote Shakespeare, he screwed his courage to the sticking place.
Athaliah has been ruling since killing all the king’s brothers.
Now Jehoiada has a plan, but he needs help.
He made a deal with the leaders in the “church” and the tribal leaders to meet him in the temple in Jerusalem.
And they made a covenant with the king.
Now Jehoiada has a plan, but he needs help.
The priests and the Levites will guard the doors and gates.
The Levites will surround the king, armed and ready to defend him.
Like an ancient Secret Service detail.
And they crowned Joash king.
And had the military kill your rebellious grandmother.
How’s that for a messed up family?

A Foster Father

2 Chronicles 24:1–3 NKJV
Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. And Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.
2 cr 24 1-3
So at the age of seven, you’ve had your life saved from a murderous grandmother and now you’re put on the throne by your uncle.
Notice two things:
First, Jehoiada treated Joash like a son.
Jehoiada took wives for Joash.
That was the job of a father,
But Joash’s father was dead.
Jehoiada took on the role of a foster father.
He protected Joash.
He insured he got what was coming to him.
He chose wives for him.
Second, Joash did what was right, all the days of his uncle Jehoiada.
Do you have a father figure in your life?
If not your biological father, a foster father?
Someone to guide you?
Someone to point out pitfalls and help you make the big decisions in life?
Someone you can go to for advice and counsel?
Men, are you a father in someone’s life?
Are you a mentor, a guide?
Not just to your children, but to others?
1 Timothy 1:1–2 NKJV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Titus 1:1–4 NKJV
Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Titus 1:4 NKJV
To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Philemon 10 NKJV
I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains,
phil 10
Are you picking up the mantle for a fallen man?
Are you a father in the faith to a younger man?
Someone they can look up to for guidance and wisdom?
Someone who will point out their mistakes in love?
Someone they can talk to?

After our Fathers

2 Chronicles 24:15 NKJV
But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old when he died.
2 ch 24 15
Like all men, Jehoiada dies.
This should not be a surprise.
But remember in verse 2?
2 Chronicles 24:2 NKJV
Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
What will Joash do now?
For the vast majority of us, our fathers will die before us.
What happens then?
What happens when you loose that confidant?
Who will you turn to?
2 Chronicles 24:17–19 NKJV
Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass. Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the Lord; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.
2 ch 24 17-
Everyone, even the king, needs wise advisors.
We need people to come along side us and show us what we are missing.
tit 2 1-
Paul instructed Titus
Titus 2:1–8 NKJV
But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
Just as Paul urged Titus to have experienced people teach the young, we should do the same.
Since this is Father’s day, I will focus on the men.
We should teach the younger men,
Be an example of the works they should do.
Be sound in doctrine.
Revereant, standing with integrity and incorruptibility.
Above the reproach of others.
When Joash lost his foster father, he lost his guidance.
He had lost
Then he chose his mentors poorly.
He abandoned what he had learned from Jehoiada.
He led his family astray.
He would not listen to the prophets the Lord had sent him.
But that was not the end.
2 ch 24 20
2 Chronicles 24:20–22 NKJV
Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you.’ ” So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, “The Lord look on it, and repay!”
God sent Jehoiada’s son to speak to Joash.
Maybe his “foster brother” would get through to him.
Would he recognize the wisdom of his foster father in Zechariah?
Would he return to what had brought him so much gain?
Alas, no, the king had is foster brother stoned to death.
He did not remember what Jehoiada had done for him.
2 ch 24-23-25
2 Chronicles 24:23–25 NKJV
So it happened in the spring of the year that the army of Syria came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the leaders of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; but the Lord delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash. And when they had withdrawn from him (for they left him severely wounded), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died. And they buried him in the City of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.
Once Joash had completely abandoned the wisdom of his foster father, his downfall was set.
The army of Judah far outweighed that of Syria.
It should have been an easy victory.
But it was not.
God delivered Judah into the hands of the Syrians.
Because they had forsaken God.
When the Syrians left Joash wounded, his servants came and finished him off.
He was buried in the City of David, but not among the kings.
Because, after his foster father died, he turned from his teachings.

Conclusion

Our fathers have such an impact on who we become.
But does having a bad father mean your life is ruined?
No, God can bring wisdom and guidance through another father figure.
He can even be a Father to you Himself.
And He calls us men to be “foster fathers” to young men in our lives.
Are you a father, especially to a young man?
Are you guiding them to be good men, good leaders?
Are you a foster father to someone?
We are told to care for the fatherless, but do we?
Are we giving them more than just money, but wisdom and guidance?
Are we helping them to follow the Lord?
Do you have a father who is a bad example?
Are you open to a Godly foster father?
If we were to examine your life, would you be more like Jehoiada or Joash?
The good news is we have a good Father in heaven.
And because of that, we can be good fathers to both our children and our “foster children”.
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