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A Father's Command, Jer 35

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Ps 78:1-7 NIV

O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.

2 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old —

3 what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.

4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,

6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.

7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.


Happy Father’s Day Video

“Are Men Necessary” In today's sexual politics, are women equal -- and are men even needed? That's the question New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd asks in her new book, Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide.

TV plays up the dead beat father

Statistics

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
--U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census

85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
--Center for Disease Control

80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes
--Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26

71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
--National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools

70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
--U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report Sept., 1988

85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home
--Fulton County Georgia jail populations & Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992


Translated, this means that children from a fatherless home are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of school
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison

Look at what the Bible says, one story about a family in ancient Israel  

Jeremiah 35 NIV

35:1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD during the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: 2 "Go to the Recabite family and invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the house of the LORD and give them wine to drink."

3 So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons — the whole family of the Recabites. 4 I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the room of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah the man of God. It was next to the room of the officials, which was over that of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper. 5 Then I set bowls full of wine and some cups before the men of the Recabite family and said to them, "Drink some wine."

6 But they replied, "We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: 'Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine. 7 Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.' 8 We have obeyed everything our forefather Jonadab son of Recab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine 9 or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields or crops. 10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jonadab commanded us. 11 But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded this land, we said, 'Come, we must go to Jerusalem to escape the Babylonian and Aramean armies.' So we have remained in Jerusalem."

Background:

Sometime around 600BC

God called Jeremiah to preach around the time that God was punishing the Israel for their unfaithfulness by allowing the Babylonians to conquer the Jews and carry them off into captivity

The Babylonians had made sever sweeps of Israel and was preparing to laid siege on Jerusalem – numerous raiding parties were through out the land, that is why the Recabites were in Jerusalem.

Symbolic acts

Who were the Recabites?

      Godly family – descendants of Kenite tribe who showed kindness to the Isrealites during their wanderings in the desert

This family was kin to Jethro the Mideanite.

Rechab was the ancestor or founder of a family, or order, in Israel known as the Rechabites, who at various times were conspicuous in the religious life of the nation. The most notable member of this family was Jehonadab (2 Kings 10:15 ff.23), or Jonadab, as he is called in Jer 35. Jehonadab was a zealous Yahweh-worshipper and took part with Jehu in the extirpation of Baal-worship and the house of Ahab. He set for his descendants a vow of asceticism: that they should drink no wine, nor plant fields or vineyards, nor build nor live in houses throughout their generations (Jer 35:6-7). That must have been a singular feature in Palestinian life: the simple, nomadic life of this family from generation to generation in the midst of settled agricultural and industrial conditions! They followed this simple life in order to guard against the enervating tendencies of sensualism, and as a covenant of fidelity to Yahweh, to whom they wholly devoted themselves when they joined themselves to Israel. Jeremiah used the Rechabites, who had been driven into Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar's investment of the land, as an object-lesson to covenant-breaking Judah. The Rechabites, hungry and thirsty, refused wine when it was set before them, because of the command of their ancestor Jonadab (Jer 35:8-10); but Judah refused to heed Yahweh's commands or to keep His covenant (verses 14,15)

Two main points

1.   Fathers: Lead your families

2.   Families: obey your head of household

      wives submit  (Eph5:22)

Children Obey  (Eph 6:1)

1.   Fathers: Lead your families

Jonadab, son of Recab, set the standard for the family
Already set the example – help eliminate idol worship

Jehonadab was a zealous Yahweh-worshipper and took part with Jehu in the extirpation of Baal-worship and the house of Ahab. He set for his descendants a vow of asceticism: that they should drink no wine, nor plant fields or vineyards, nor build nor live in houses throughout their generations (Jer 35:6-7). That must have been a singular feature in Palestinian life: the simple, nomadic life of this family from generation to generation in the midst of settled agricultural and industrial conditions! They followed this simple life in order to guard against the enervating tendencies of sensualism, and as a covenant of fidelity to Yahweh, to whom they wholly devoted themselves when they joined themselves to Israel.

(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)

Fathers, have you set the standards that your family lives to?

Look at Joshua:

Josh 24:15 NLT

But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD."

He didn’t say he would allow them to choose for them selves. He didn’t ask them first.  He set the standard

God’s word doesn’t allow for fathers to leave this matter of spiritualality open for question in their families

The SHEMA:

Deut 6:4-9 NIV

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Father – it is your responsibility to teach these to your children
too often in our society, it is left to women to do

these teaching are often reactive rather than proactive

Jonadab was a “Man of God”  How then should we as men live?

Listen to Paul’s instruction to Timothy:

1 Tim 6:11-13 NIV
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.   12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

5 parts to notice:
1.   Flee from evil
            Money preceded this verse
2.   Pursue a godly life
            Fruits of the Spirit
4.   Fight the good fight
            Bible full of passages about our faith being a war
5.   Take hold of eternal life
            Live life like you have eternal live and there is nothing
             the world can do to take that away from you

2.   Families: obey your head of household

Honor our fathers by obeying our fathers

Notice in verse 8:  We have obeyed
who?  Neither have us nor have our wives, our sons, or our daughters.

Notice the blessing that was given:  verse 7
’If you follow these commands, you will live long, good lives in the land.'

Ex 20:12 NIV
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

That’s not all God had to say.  Look at the promise he made to those ho love Him”

Ex 20:5-6 NIV
for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

But Doug, I don’t grow up under godly parents!

You have an opportunity to change all that:

Ps 78:5-8 NIV

5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,

6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.

7 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.

8 They would not be like their forefathers —
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
whose spirits were not faithful to him.


The object lesson in this story according to Jeremiah is that we are not faithful.

12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying: 13 "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem, 'Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?' declares the LORD. 14'Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather's command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me. 15 Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, "Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your fathers." But you have not paid attention or listened to me. 16 The descendants of Jonadab son of Recab have carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.'

17 "Therefore, this is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.'"

Fathers – When you talk to your child and they say say they love – especially after being disobedient – what do you say?

“If you love me you would obey me.”

 

God says the same things!!

John 14:15 NIV
"If you love me, you will obey what I command.

1 John 2:3-5 NIV
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him.

Heb 12:6 NIV
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

When your children ask WHY?
Because I know what is best for you

 

God knows what is best for us too

Let look at the Recabites again:

18 Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Recabites, "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.' 19 Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.'"

How do we stand before God, our heavenly Father?  Do we obey His commands?

How do we stand before our fathers?  Do we follow their direction?

And Fathers, how do we lead our families?  Do we like Joshua say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”

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