Text: I Kings 19:15,16 Jeremiah 35:1-10, 18,19
1 Kings 19:15-16 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
In the Adult Bible Class taught by Brother Fidel, we have been learning of the Prophet Elijah and how the Lord blessed him and cared for him as he exhorted the people of Israel to repent and obey the Lord. We know from God’s Word that Elijah became discouraged when the Lord proved Himself to the people and yet the people refused to turn to Him. King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, threatened to kill Elijah and he ran for his life into the wilderness. The Lord called Him to Himself and encouraged Elijah, giving him the responsibility to command Jehu, one of Ahab’s captains, to overthrow the wicked king and also to call Elisha to follow Elijah in the ministry as a prophet of God. Elijah obeyed God in these things. In the ministry of Elisha, Jehu was commanded to carry out his mission and take over the kingdom of Israel, destroying the false religious worship. Jehu called upon a friend of his to help –
As we look at this man we see that –
A. He was zealous in the service of his country –
2 Kings 10:15-17 And when he (Jehu) was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. …
Jehu, the anointed king of Israel called on Jonodab to assist him in service to his country.
(The country had been invaded and was occupied, not by military troops, but by false gods and their servants. The king, Ahab, had married Jezebel, a foreign queen who then established the worship of false gods.)
B. He was zealous in the service of his God.
2 Kings 10:23 And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab…..
Jehu called on Jonadab to assist him in serving the Lord – rid the country of the idolatry. We learn that he was an important man in the new government of Israel. He desired to serve God and do what was right.
Why is it important today that we look at the life of this man – Jonadab. We can learn much from him because of something that happened in his family 150 years later. We need to read of another time when God’s people had turned from obeying and serving Him. This was in the time of Jeremiah.
Read Jeremiah 35:1 “…go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them…”
It is interesting that this family was still in the land when all of the other tribes that had been in the north had been captured by the Assyrians.
II. The obedience of this family. Jeremiah 35:1-19
A. The test of obedience. Jeremiah 35:1-5
B. The witness of obedience. Jeremiah 35:6-10
C. The blessing of obedience. Jeremiah 35:18,19
This family is an example of honouring their father. They refused to disobey their father’s admonition. For over 150 years they had strictly adhered to Jonadab’s will. What is it that children see in a father that leads them to obey in such a manner?
We should learn a most important lesson –
III. The obedience of Jonadab was a pattern for his children.
He was zealous in the care of his children. He noticed when sin took over!
2 Kings 10:29-30 Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Beth-el, and that were in Dan. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
A. Jonadab saw the danger of incomplete obedience. Jehu was filled with pride in his accomplishment (one may sin through pride even in serving!)
B. Jonadab determined a right course for his family.
1. Separate unto the Lord.
2. Separate from the world.
He put his family before the fame and fortune he could have if he continued to work with Jehu. He warned them of the danger of compromise with ungodly ways. We see that –
C. Jonadab delighted in the Lord and in his family.
He could have served at the side of King Jehu and given his family power and position for a while – as long as they were in favour with the king!
He chose to give his family an eternal position in the Kingdom of God! Earthly kings come and go but our God is forever! We should do all that we can to put them in the way with God. We should prepare them to know the conviction of God and call upon Him. Will we as fathers teach our children that when God calls, they will given Him their lives? Can you imagine how wonderful it will be that, if the Lord does not return soon, our children’s children – even 150 hundred years from now, will be trusting God through His Word because we set a good example for them teaching them that we believed God and were blessed of Him.
Be zealous in the service of the Lord.
Be zealous in the leadership of your family – separate them from ungodly influences!
Have you accepted the responsibility of leading your family?
How long will you be remembered and –
What will you be remembered for?
What kind of influence do you have in your family?
It is very interesting to remember the promise that Moses made to this family some 800 years before Jeremiah spoke to them. He was asking his brother in law for help –
Numbers 10:32 And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.
God was faithful to fulfil this promise to them. They were more faithful to God than the Jews. We can trust the promises from the Lord.
Teach the love of God by word and by your life! Will you determine to do that today