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Psalm 145:4

How Godly Fathers Can Affect What Comes Next

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • June 18, 2023

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

How Godly Fathers Can Affect What Comes Next


Psalm 145:4


Psalm 145:4, One generation will praise Your works to another, and will declare Your mighty acts.


Illus. The Next Generation.  


With Psalm 145:4 in mind, I want to study a section of Scripture from Joshua chapter 4, where we read the Lord’s instruction to a new generation of dads, who had just entered into a new territory, and the Lord’s instructions are valuable and important, I believe, for fathers to know and remember presently.


As we pick up in Joshua 4, we pick up after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan river. This generation was the one that entered into the promised land after Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. They wandered in the desert because the previous generation was faithless. The Lord had led them out of Egypt and the grip of the Egyptian King, Pharaoh. But when they left Egypt and Moses sent spies over to spy out the promised land, 12 of them, 10 were faithless and only 2 trusted what God could do.


The account is recorded in Numbers 13, Caleb and Joshua had the faith to move forward, but the 10 others were filled with fear. They were fearful of the giants in the land, and the rather than believe Joshua and Caleb, that the Lord would give them the land as He had said, the people believed the 10, they started to express their desire to go back to Egypt, they grumbled against God, and so the Lord said that those 20 years and older, with the exception of the Joshua and Caleb, would not enter into the promised land. That generation would wander and pass away in the wilderness.


The people were faithless after the Lord had led them across the Red Sea and away from Pharaoh. Then in the book of Joshua, after than generation has passed away, they cross another body of water, the Jordan River. The Lord cut off the water of the river when priest stood in it, all of the people passed through after the waters were cut off and the ground was dried up. The river at that point, was at flood stage the people could see clearly what the Lord had done. After the crossed, the Lord then gave some specific instructions, not just for them, but for the generations that would come after them, and it had to do with how what God had done would be remembered and recounted to the generations to come.


Read Joshua 4:1-7; 20-24,


The Lord had Joshua select one man from each tribe (a family representative), and they were to go back into the middle of the river, where the priests were standing on dry ground, take up a large stone and take them to the place they were going (the place they were going to set up camp and stay). The stones were to be a sign among the people at that time, and also for generations to come. When the children asked about the stones later, they were to tell their children that the Lord cut off the waters of the Jordan and allowed the people to pass safely into the promised land.


Just as the Lord instructed, they would do, they took the stones to the place they were headed, Joshua set them up, they would not be forgotten. What the Lord had done was to be remembered for generations to come.


It was through remembering what the Lord had done, that their children would be led in generations to come. From the final few verses of Joshua 4, I want to encourage godly fathers this morning with three ways godly fathers can affect what comes next…and we will put these ways, directly from the text. What I will point out specifically is the importance of what you set up, what you share, and what you show.


  1. Set Up Stones of Remembrance


Joshua 4:20, As for those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set them up at Gilgal.


  • As the verses go on, it is clear that the stones were being set up, so that what God had done would be seen and remembered.


  • The stones, then, were stones of remembrance. To remember something is to recall it to mind, by an act or effort of memory; to remain aware of something, or to think of it again.


Psalm 9:1, I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (ESV)


Psalm 77:11, I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; I will certainly remember Your wonders of old.


Psalm 103:2, Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget any of His benefits.


  • In addition to the Psalms declaring the importance of remembering, the Lord has given the Holy Spirit, who it seems, works with our memory!


 John 14:6, But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.


  • Our remembering the Lord as we go forward is very important, however, we see continually in the scripture that God’s people were often a forgetful people.


  • So the Lord has Joshua set up the stones, so that the people would remember and know, the only way they were able to get to the place they were, was because the Lord brought them through.


  • The Lord did not want his people to forget. So, he ensured that they would be continually reminded.


Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only be careful for yourself and watch over your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.


Deuteronomy 6:10-12,  Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land that He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and carved cisterns which you did not carve out, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.


  • The Lord wants the people to remember how they got where they got. It is easy to forget, the Lord knew this, He was making sure they remembered.


Illus. Remember.


  • The Lord was making sure the people remembered how they got to the place they had arrived at.


  • This was important for them, this is important for us! We are not self-made, we are not our own source, it is God who has gotten us through, and it is God who we need to be reminded of if we, and our families are going to make it through.


  • The Lord told him to set up 12 stones. I love God’s monuments!


Illus. Set some reminders.


  • Verses 21 to 23 show us that the stones of remembrance that we set up, are not just for us, but they have an affect on what happens next.


Joshua 4:21-23, And he said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed.


  1. Readily Share What the Lord Has Made So


  • The fathers didn’t just need to know what the Lord had made so, they needed to share what the Lord made so.


Illus. When they ask.


  • It is important for fathers to share what the Lord has made so, and what they know about the Lord and His instruction, with their children.


Ephesians 6:4, Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.


Deuteronomy 6:1-2, “Now this is the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, so that you may do them in the land where you are going over to take possession of it, so that you, your son, and your grandson will fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.


Deuteronomy 6:6-7, These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. And you shall repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.


  • These verses are speaking to what a father shares with the next generation and the importance of keeping the instruction of the Lord at the forefront of your own life and repeatedly in front of your children.


  • The picture painted in Joshua 4 is of children asking about the stones that were set up in memory of what the Lord had done, and the instruction and role of the fathers to tell them.


  • Show This Generation What Their World Must Know


Joshua 4:24, So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.


  • After telling the fathers in Israel what to remember and say, the Lord told them what the world would know through what they had shown their children.


  • They were to remember what God had done, set up stones of remembrance, share what God had made so, and through their sharing, all the peoples of the earth would know that the hand of the Lord is mighty.


  • In other words, they transfer the truth to their children, and their children tell the world.


  • Godly fathers then, can affect what’s next by what they share and show with those in their own home.


  • This beautiful promise of what was ahead if they did not forget.


  • But what we see if that God’s people would forget: perhaps the fathers got tired of telling the same old story about the same old stones, or since they didn’t see it happen personally, what their fathers told them simply faded from their memory.


  • One writer wrote of what took place in the generations to come in Israel is “this serves as a reminder that it only takes one generation for degeneration to take place…”


Deuteronomy 6:12, Be careful that you do not forget the Lord…


Illus. Forgotten?


Judges 2:8;10-12, Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110. All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and another generation rose up after them who did not know the Lord, nor even the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals,  and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they followed other gods from the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them…


  • Fathers, I want you to know that you have an affect on what happens next.


  • Just like if you are looking at a show and see that what is coming next is not good for your child to watch, you likely have some idea of what seems to be coming in our world and society.


  • There are many symptoms, and there are many suggestions as to what the solutions to the symptoms are, but I want to continually look to God’s solutions and make sure my steps are according to what He has set up.


 Joshua 24:15, …As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.


Illus. Mixed in.


1 John 4:4, Greater is He that is in you, than he who is in the world.


Psalm 145:4

One generation will praise Your works to another,
And will declare Your mighty acts.

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