You Had Better Listen to The Old Man

What Children Need to be Hearing Their Fathers Say

Genesis 28

June 18, 2017 PM   Father’s Day

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2,3; Leviticus 19:32)


A.    It’s Father’s Day


1.      Father’s Day is so needy today!


a.       A day set aside in our western world to remind people to honour their father

b.      We are to honour our parents during BOTH childhood and adulthood, for we owe them a debt of honour that never ends. Show me from the Bible where we can STOP honouring our parents? It’s not there!

c.       God said we need to honour our fathers not just today, but all our lives


1)      Commanded to ADULTS in Exodus 20:12 

2)      As well as to CHILDREN in Ephesians 6:1-3 


2.      By-the-way, It is more than fathers that is being focused on in this commandment.


a.       Honouring parents is a form of honouring all authority.

b.      In other words, respect for parents is the basis for every other kind of respect for every other kind of authority.

c.       So, the smart-mouth kids who tells his parents to shut up, or tells off the mayor of London, was never taught this life-saving duty – of honouring their parents!


3.      I know there are many in this room, and many in today’s society who have fathers that deserve no honour


a.       I will warn you in advance: In every case there will be temptations to say, “Yes, but you don’t know my parents. You don’t know who they are or what they did to me.”

b.      I understand that in some cases showing honour may be difficult or very nearly impossible.

c.       Yet here it is. In black and white… God tells you to honour him anyway.


B.     What does it mean to honour your father? It means doing 5 things, constantly:


1.      Forgive them


a.       Don’t expect him to be perfect – or Superman, or even Batman

b.      Thank God for imperfect fathers. They are the only ones we have! By the way, even if there were perfect fathers, (like God is one), it would not guarantee perfect sons!

c.       There are no perfect parents. All parents have fallen far short of their children’s expectations and, in all likelihood, even their own expectations. Our parents have sinned against us. They have made unwise decisions, they have had unrealistic expectations, they have said and done things that have left us deeply wounded. For that reason, many children enter adulthood controlled by anger and bitterness. They find themselves unable to move past their parents’ mistakes or their parents’ sin.

d.      Your Dad is YOUR father

e.       Don’t forget, you ARE your father, the older you get – scary isn’t it? so don’t be so hard on him


2.      Speak Well of Them


a.       Another way we can honour our parents is to speak well of them, and to refuse to speak evil of them. We live at a time when it is considered noble to air our grievances about our family, when it is considered therapeutic to air our dirty laundry to others. We think nothing of telling the world exactly what we think of our politicians, our employers, and our parents.

b.      Yet the Bible warns us that we owe honour and respect to all of the authorities God has placed over us (Titus 3:1; Romans 13:7). It warns us that our words have the power to show honour or dishonour.

c.       In the Old Testament the penalty for cursing parents is the same as the penalty for assaulting them (Exodus 21:15-17, Leviticus 20:9), for the root sin is the same. To curse parents or to strike parents is to violate the fifth commandment as well as the sixth.

d.      So PROTECT their honour. Don't trash their name or reputation  to anybody. They may have trashed their own names, but don't YOU do that!


3.      Pass the honour upward.


a.       Are you good at something? Maybe you learned that from your parents? Maybe even from your father?

b.      "Everything I really ever learned about saving money I learned from you.’  ‘You know, Dad, that was one thing you always taught me that I really, really appreciated’.”

c.       I work hard today, and love to work, because of my Dad.

d.      Yes, I stay married because my parents divorced. But therefore God brought GOOD out of evil in my life!

e.       These are simple measures but ones that bring great joy and honour to our parents. Don't have pride in your own accomplishments as if YOU figured it ALL out - pass the honour upward! And God will bless you from above!


4.      Listen to them. Seek their advice and wisdom.


a.       We younger generationers, usually talk the wrong way – with our mouth OPEN and ears shut! Shame!

b.      Seek your parent's input when faced with major decisions. It honours our parents when we seek their help, even if in the end we cannot obey it.


5.      And take care of them.


a.       Our parents raised us to be strong and free and independent! But there is a trade-off here, for as our parents age they become feeble, they will begin to lose their independence (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8).

b.      So, we honour our parents by giving them the assurance that we will NOT forsake them in their old age. Just as they cared for us, we will care for them. This is our responsibility and it ought to be our joy.

c.       You may need to get in home help, and nurses, and one day even a nursing home for your parents, but they need to know YOU will not abandon them, but will stay with them, and even financially support them as they get feeble and old! They deserve that!


C.     You had better honour the old man (Lev 19:32)! And you had better honour him the right way!


II.    Background (Genesis 27:1; 28)


A.    Some of the things I am going to say may cut across you, and many of you may take offense.


1.      Guess what! I didn’t have anyone in mind when I wrote down these things from my study.

2.      We take advice from just about everybody except the ones God wants us to!

3.      So, today, Let GOD speak to you, and cut you if need be.


B.     Moms… you do a great job! But DAD needs to be able say these things and teach them in your home!


1.      If he is not there, then yes, it is up to you, and with God’s help, your children can do right, and turn out right

2.      But God meant there to be a man in your home, a FATHER who takes the following things seriously

3.      If there IS a father in your home, then ladies, HELP him help your children!


C.     Let’s turn to Genesis chapter 27 and 28, where we will find some sound, biblical advice from an imperfect father to an imperfect son


1.      Isaac is old (Gen 27:1)

2.      Isaac has two sons – twins: Esau, and Jacob


a.       They both still live at home

b.      He has made a terrible mistake preferring one son over the other

c.       Now he has to urgently push Jacob “out of the nest” to protect his life from the wrath of his older brother


3.      Has some advice for Jacob


a.       Isaac is concerned about making sure he has taught his sons the most important things in life before Jacob has to leave home!

b.      So has sets Jacob down, and speaks some strong words right at his heart and soul


1)      They are the words on concerns of father, named Isaac, for his very messed up son Jacob.

2)      Be aware, that Esau is lurking in the shadows, listening as well, and Isaac knows that

3)      Some of these things were clearly spoken to Jacob by his father Isaac.

4)      Some of the things were taught without words, at least as recorded in Scripture – but the evidence of the teaching / or lack of it, is still right in Scripture!


4.      Very practical, and necessary advice for US to teach our children. Things they NEED us to be teaching them!


a.       It’s funny how God records these things. Very embarrassing for both Isaac and Jacob.

b.      But Rom 15:4 says they were recorded for OUR learning, and to give us hope!


III. Message (Genesis 28)


A.    Son, It’s Good to Have a Family (Gen 28:1,2)


1.      Not a career, not a house, not an investment portfolio, but a family!

2.      Sons, young men, you need to get a wife


a.       Or ladies, get you a husband

b.      NOT a “partner” but a SPOUSE


3.      Just have the focus of getting married


a.       THAT was the focus of people until the 1950’s and 60’s

b.      Now, unfortunately it is


1)      Having fun

2)      Having sex

3)      Having my own life


4.      God designed you to have a family


a.       No matter what feminism is screaming

b.      No matter what your “mates” are telling you


5.      It is still good, and honourable, and a blessing to get MARRIED, and work your butt off to have a HOME one day! (Heb 13:5; Prov 18:22)


B.     Son, It’s Okay to Have Loads of Children (Gen 28:3)


1.      This is almost impossible to say without getting a lot of people’s anger, and temper up!


a.       People have been so conditioned by the feminists that they cannot hear anything from the Bible that actually says “having children, and having lots of them” is a blessing from God (Psalm 127:3-5).

b.      Refuse to hear ANY Biblical instructions today, so most homes are condemned to angry women and stubborn men, who ruin generation after generation of children with their bitter arguing and sin!


2.      It is awesome to have children!

3.      Why?


a.       Because they have GRAND-children!

b.      And you will have a home – as it was meant to be

c.       Active, messy, loud, problems, heartaches, and hugs and kisses, and tickles

d.      You will have loads of bills, and hospital visits, and hand-me-downs, and beans and toast for lunch, and maybe beans and toast for dinner

e.       And Did I mention grandkids? Oh!

f.        You get the idea!


4.      Fathers… encourage your children that having them was NOT a mistake, and was NOT so hard, but was a priceless gift from God.

5.      And encourage them to look forward to being Daddies and Mommies one day, with LOADS of children… so that YOU can be a grand-daddy!


C.    Son, Know the God of Your Father – the God of Abraham (Gen 28:3,4, 13; 32:9,10)


1.      Living a life WITHOUT God, and without worship will dry up fast!


a.       Children will grow up and turn to drink, and entertainment, and drugs, and take things to extreme measures, just to try and “fill the hole” in their heart, that only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can fill!

b.      Dad, have your own walk with God, a personal faith in the God of Abraham, so that you can pass it on, ESPECIALLY to your sons!


2.      Abraham had worshipped, and followed, and obeyed God (Hebrews 11:8). He is THE Pattern!


a.       And he taught HIS son, Isaac to do the same

b.      And now, here was Isaac making sure this HIS son, Jacob, followed, NOT the god of his own choosing, and NOT the god that made sense to him, but the GOD of ABRAHAM! The God of the Jews (John 4:20-22)

c.       Isaac taught his son ABOUT God – not very well, but it was something at least!

d.      But Jacob needed to know God for himself, and make the God of Abraham, HIS God too!


3.      I hope and pray that in your home, you worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Mt 22:31,32)


a.       Not many homes worship the right God

b.      Most Dad worships entertainment, and his buddies, and drink, and football

c.       If you are a Dad in here today, THOSE gods will FAIL you and your family – never help

d.      Don’t waste your life worshipping DEAD, FALSE gods

e.       Worship, and love, and follow the God who saves, and gives life, and forgives, and will always be there to carry you and your family through the darkest and hardest of times!


4.      And I pray that you Work hard to make sure your children worship the same true God!


a.       Read the Bible to them, then with them!

b.      Pray WITH them – holding them close while you pray! YES! DADS, YOU DO THAT!

c.       Pray FOR them! And for their futures! Don’t leave it to the world, or the devil! Because THEY will take your children down a long road to hell if you don’t do what YOU are supposed to be doing!

d.      Make CHURCH and church functions a family priority


D.    Son, Beware of Bitterness (27:41,42,46; Cf 28:6-9)


1.      Remember, Esau was lurking in the background, just waiting for the old man to die, so that he could KILL his brother! All because Jacob had hurt Esau!

2.      So Jacob needed to take great care, because HE could turn out just as wicked as Esau did, just because of bitterness!

3.      What is bitterness?


a.       Anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.

b.      So, when you are angry for so long you don’t feel it anymore – you are bitter

c.       When you can’t see the person who hurt you anymore – only their wrongdoing – you are bitter

d.      When you respect everyone else, and can be oh so nice to everyone else except the person who hurt you, then you are bitter

e.       Bitterness blinds you to all the good that God has given you, and you can only think about the hurt

f.        You may be justified in hurting, but you are NOT justified in getting bitter

g.      You are wrong in being bitter, just as they were wrong in hurting you!


4.      The worst fear of this pastor, is knowing the bitterness that just grips so many lives and hearts IN THIS ROOM!

5.      Do you REALLY want to pass that onto your children?

6.      Most parents do, even without even realising it!


E.     Son, Know That We Are Different – strangers – not like the world around us (Gen 28:1,2)


1.      Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob were different from the Canaanites (Gen 24:3)


a.       Not only different in culture

b.      But more importantly, different in moralities and values

c.       BECAUSE they were following GOD’S laws, and not society’s


2.      We live differently, worship differently, love differently, marry differently, raise our children differently that the world around us (2Cor 6:14-16)


a.       Hey, we believe the Bible’s definition of a marriage – one man, one woman, for life

b.      We believe it matters HOW you love, and WHO you love

c.       We believe it matters who you hang around with, and what music you love to listen to, and what entertainment you allow into your heart and mind!

d.      We believe that a saved young man should only marry a saved young lady!

e.       Because of Jesus Christ, we ARE different!


3.      I hope YOU know all this, dads!

4.      And I hope you teach your sons that too!


a.       Listen to the music your children are listening to – it will grieve you

b.      Carefully judge the TV and entertainment you allow into your home

c.       Prepare your children to carefully judge what they wear and what they do


5.      Because… they ARE SUPPOSED to be raised to be different!


F.     Son, Seek God’s Blessings, not Man’s (Gen 28:3,4)


1.      This is the hardest to convince our children


a.       That life is not made up of the possessions we may hold (Mt 6:25, 33)

b.      That man’s approval means NOTHING – absolutely NOTHING


2.      But life is found in the invisible blessings that are eternal!


a.       Eternal life

b.      The Son of God liveth IN me, and loves me

c.       He will NEVER forsake me, but will take good care of me

d.      That I have an eternal home in the heavens!


3.      Teach your children to:


a.       Lay up treasures in heaven most of all

b.      Do right, if only to please God

c.       Seek GOD’S blessings (Prov 10:22) – HIS favour on your efforts

d.      Help your sons to seek to honour God

e.       Because “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.” Ps 37:16


4.      If YOU are never happy or satisfied with YOUR life Dads, then your children will be cursed with more unhappiness! It is a law of nature!


G.    Son, Build Altars Throughout Your Life


1.      Altars marked the times of dedication and commitment to God. Usually you have to sacrifice something to commit your life to God!

2.      Altars were permanent reminders of vows made to God, when you got right with God, or gave up something to God’s will

3.      Son, Make loads of altars


a.       Noah did! Gen 8:20 

b.      Abraham did!


1)      Gen 12:7  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

2)      Gen 12:8  And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

3)      Gen 13:4  Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

4)      Gen 13:18  Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

5)      Gen 22:9  And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.


c.       Isaac built an altar. Gen 26:25  And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.

d.      Jacob built some altars


1)      Gen 28:17-19

2)      Gen 33:20  And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.

3)      Gen 35:1  And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

4)      Gen 35:3  And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

5)      Gen 35:7  And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.


4.      And make sure you remember your altars! Why you built them, and the commitments you made in each!


H.    Son, Let God Teach You What I Couldn’t


1.      Which is a lot! There was so much that Isaac did NOT teach his sons!

2.      This is a father’s deep sorrow – knowing there are so many things we DIDN’T teach!


a.       Isaac, and most dad’s try and teach everything they can to their sons and daughters

b.      But there is NO way to teach everything

c.       Especially with how fast things are changing, and people are changing


3.      So, one big thing we need our Dad’s to teach us, is that THEY CAN’T teach us everything!

4.      We need to “learn of God” (John 6:45; 1Tim 4:9)


a.       To be humble

b.      To be a giver instead of mainly a getter

c.       To be like Jesus more than like our Dads

d.      To trust God more than maybe our Dads did

e.       To love other Christians!


I.        Lastly, Son Teach YOUR Children These Same Things! Pass it on down!


1.      None of this is out of date!

2.      This fatherly advice, though simple, can save a future home, and a nation

3.      But it is up to you DADs, if you are going to take any of this seriously! Ecc 4:13  Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king (Dad), who will no more be admonished.

4.      Christianity DIES when each generation FAILS to pass on to our children what WE heard OUR old man teach us! Simply because we were too rebellious, or too lazy!

5.      Don’t be a foolish old man, who doesn’t care about the spiritual walk of YOUR children like YOUR Dad may have!


IV. There was SO Much More To Pass On…


A.    This short message today in no way could have ever told you all you need to learn yourself, so that you could pass it all on to the next generation

B.     The Bible is a BIG Book of instructions for fathers to pass on to their children and grand-children

C.    Like, Learn a Trade


1.      Isaac would have been a fool to just send off his son with no ability to work, or live away from home on his own!

2.      Isaac passed onto his children the ability to work with their own hands


a.       He taught Jacob how to be a shepherd – a farmer

b.      He also taught Esau how to hunt – a hunter

c.       Both were and are honourable trades


3.      Dads!


a.       Did you know that all your children wanted to be just like you?

b.      They didn’t know what that meant, or what it would cost them

c.       So, teach them what you know

d.      Not the math, or the money involved in what you do

e.       But the love of work, and the love of fixing problems, and the love of people!

f.        Show them what you do, and teach them to do it well

g.      They may NOT end up doing what you do, but they will be better prepared for life than all the university classes ever taught could ever prepare them for!


D.    Be Self-Sufficient


1.      A lot of people, especially young men want to get a job doing what they love doing

2.      Wonderful!

3.      But you HAVE to do something that pays the bills until you can do what you want to do!

4.      Isaac did NOT want Jacob to just keep coming home


a.       Getting his mother to do his washing

b.      Eating all the food

c.       Living at home still, at 40, 45, 50

d.      NO father wants that!

e.       Maybe some MOMS do, but not the DADS!


5.      Pay your own bills!

6.      Live within your means!


E.     Finish What You Start


1.      Promised to work for 7 years for his wife’s hand in marriage – and he had no problem

2.      Then promised to work an additional 7 years to get her hand AGAIN after his wife had been switched!


F.      Accept the Gifts AND Suffering that God gives you (Philp 1:29)


1.      All Jacob had when he headed east, was a walking stick – a shepherd’s staff


a.       It was all that Moses had when he started to serve God!


2.      And he held onto it as a gift

3.      And everything that came into his hand, he accepted as from the hand of God

4.      Well, most everything!


a.       He did NOT accept the wife that God put into his tent! He was cheated on his wedding night

b.      Jacob was mistreated over and over by Laban

c.       He didn’t let it ruin his life


5.      And when Jacob’s older brother approached him, to punish him for robbing him of their father’s inheritance, Jacob saw it as GOD at work, and not Esau! Wow!


G.    Do NOT Ever Cheat on your Family or your Employer


1.      Well, this was AFTER the fact information

2.      Even if they cheat on you!

3.      Jacob had learned from his mother how to trick and deceive his father and brother

4.      And later, Jacob cheated his employer, Laban, out of most of his wealth

5.      Jacob had had to flee from his home at the beginning of all this

6.      And now he was fleeing for his life from his employer / distant relative AGAIN

7.      Not smart – NOT right!

8.      YOU suffer loss, instead of making others suffer so that YOU can succeed!


H.    All these things and more were passed on by Isaac, and by most fathers. But somehow, we are not passing them on well!


V.    Exhortation


A.    Fathers…


1.      If you have taught these things to your children, I salute you!


a.       You will probably have a happy Father’s Day!

b.      But don’t let up – don’t back down – don’t ignore the responsibility we have towards our children, and children’s children – as imperfect as we may be!


2.      If you have been slow, or lax, or hindered from teaching these things, let me quickly remind you…


a.       Bless your children – hold them close and pray with them and FOR them!

b.      Correct and Constrain your children – MAKE them do right – that’s why GOD made YOU the parent, and not the school, or the government!

c.       Guide them and teach them the right way to speak, act, react, and live

d.      Teach them character, and integrity

e.       Leave an inheritance to them

f.        Be an example – even a failed one

g.      Love your children


3.      If you are not born again, this will not help you. Only faith in Jesus Christ, as YOUR substitute, can bring forgiveness into your life and into your home! Without Christ, all your best efforts of being a good Dad will end in ashes.


B.     Mothers/Wives…


1.      Let your husband lead in your home

2.      Honour him as the head of your home – as imperfect as he may be!

3.      Let your husband fail

4.      Just stand by them, and be the help God meant you to be – not his worst critic


C.    If you still have a father alive, you had better sit down next to him, and hug him, and hold him, and let him teach you these things! Ask him three things…


1.      To pray with you – I don’t care if he IS agnostic! Ask him anyway! YOU NEED HIM TO PRAY FOR YOU! God honours the prayers of fathers!

2.      To guide you in some decisions you are making right now – there is not a father alive who would turn away one of their children looking for some help and advice about a big decision or problem!

3.      To worship God with you. This may not pan out like you want, but don’t you WANT your father to know God, and love God, and worship God like you are learning? Ask him to come to church WITH you!

4.      Lastly, make sure you tell him you love him, and if need be, tell him  you forgive him! He may never know, or care to know, but it will free your home, and your past from a whole lot of bondage!