Obey All of God's Word
|Cast Out of Eden|
Just as Adam and Eve had a problem obeying God in their day, we as servants of God, still struggle with the issue of obedience. I know, because I struggle with the same problem.
Our subject was captured from a well known text in the Book of 1 Samuel 15:22
22. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
The Lord spoke these words to Samuel, for our learning. Many times we human beings, even Christian people, get the idea that if we sacrifice things to God such as:
- 1) our money,
- 2) our time,
- 3) attending church,
- 4) praying,
- 5) evening fasting,
that it makes up for the fact that we are disobedient to God. But these words spoken to Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:22, dispels this idea. There is absolutely no substitute for obedience to the Lord.
From the Book of Jeremiah 35: 1-19, there is, what I describe as, a wonderful story, about the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab, who are called the Rechabites. This story grabbed my heart the first time I remember reading it, and it has continued to touch my heart. What touched my heart about it was the fact that while the Rechabites obeyed their father, we disobey God Almighty, without even blinking.
Jeremiah 35: 1 -19
1. The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,
2. Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.
3. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;
4. And I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:
5. And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.
6. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:
7. Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.
8. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;
9. Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:
10. But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
11. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.
12. Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,
13. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.
14. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.
15. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.
16. Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:
17. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.
18. And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:
19. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.
This is how this story unfolded. The sons or grandsons of Rachad were invited to the House of the Lord. Picture this, all the wine (the drug of choice of that day), one could possibly imagine. There were not mere bottles of wine, but pots full of wine. Enough wine for everyone of these young men to have their fill.
I am sure these men had no idea why they were being invited to go to the House of the Lord. They were probably excited about what was getting ready to happen to them. Wow! The Man of God has invited us! Whoopee! None other than Jeremiah the prophet! Perhaps they thought about the Psalm which said: "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of Lord!" Jeremiah shall no doubt give us a great prophecy! Yes!!!
But, as it turns out, it was not a prophecy at all. It was not even to worship God. But it was for the purpose of teaching us a great lesson in obedience. Not only obedience to God, but even to our parents as well. The Scripture said: ".....and I said unto them, Drink ye wine."
The commandment their fathers had passed down to them, was not just one thing which they had been commanded to do, it was many things and it was perpetual. They were not to drink wine, them or their family after them. They were not to build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyards, nor have any (vineyards), but all their days they were to dwell in tents.
Even ONE of these commandments, if passed down to us, from our grandparents, or even from God Almighty, would have been difficult for most of us to follow. But this family had a list of things they were expected to obey, and they obeyed them all the days of their lives, and because of their obedience, God blessed them.
Why did the Lord use these young men as examples to Israel, and to us? Because these men honored their parents' words, more than Israel honored God! As I read this story, it seems that I can feel the heart of God weeping. The Lord has so loned to have a relationship with us, but He has not been able to prefect that relationship because of our disobedience.
The Lord told Jeremiah to tell the Rechabites men, that because they had obeyed their father's words: "....Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever." This is the blessing the Lord gave to these men for their complete obedience to their father. What would He do for us, if we obeyed Him completely. My goal in life, is to obey God completely.
Testimony: There is a great longing in my heart to be close to God, like I use to be, and even more so. In pursuit of this goal, I asked the Lord in prayer one day: "What can I can to gain the relationship with you that I desire." Prior to the items I am about to share with you, the Lord had already asked me to do something which took me years to adjust to: the Lord called me off my secular job. The following are three things the Lord asked me to do in later years: "a) Read the Bible from front to back, b) Fast three days a week, I could choose the days, and c) stop watching television." "Stop watching television?!!" As I set out on this mission, the fight was on, I thought of every excuse in the book, as to why I needed to watch television. And I wasn't the only one upset about this request. Others reasoned that I truly needed to watch T.V. in order to know what was going on in the world, etc., etc. I reasoned that I needed to at least watch Christian Television, and on, and on the battle ragged. Almost two years later, the Lord spoke to me again: "You have done two of the things I asked you to do, but you have failed to stop watching television." And then again, the Lord said: "You are still continuing to accept jobs which I have told you "not" to do!" After many years of struggling, thank God, I have finally come to terms concerning these two issues.
Conclusion: In the Word of God, Jesus knew why He came to this earth. He knew exactly what He had to suffer, and what would happen to mankind, if, He did not accomplish His goal. Suppose Jesus had decided to disobey God the Father, and NOT to drink of the cup of death in the Garden of Gethsemane. We would have been eternally lost. The next time we are tempted to disobey God, let us keep this in mind: To obey is better than sacrifice. God bless you.
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