GOD'S OBJECT LESSON ON OBEDIENCE
Date: 23 March, 2017
Text: Jeremiah 35
Title: An Object Lesson in Obedience
ill. Mother's are great at accepting gifts from their children with great delight.
1.) I remember going to a neighbor's garage sale (like a car boot sale) and buying a nice pretty glass with a long stem on it for a dime. I brought it proudly home and gave it to my mom.
a. It didn't matter that it was probably for drinking champaign.
b. It didn't matter that it was only one and not a set. Mom loved it - or so I thought.
2.) One Christmas I was playing with buttons, string and glue. I don't think I was trying to make something but suddenly I had what looked like a little person assembled. I gave it to my mum and it was on the Christmas tree for a few years.
I know our children are excited today to give their mum the gifts that they made at kid's club on Thursday - I saw these and they are far better than my gifts to my mom.
Although I'm not primarily preaching a mother's day message this morning, I am preaching on something that would be the greatest gift you could give to your mother.
Let me encourage the children expecially on this mother's day to give your mother the gift of obedience.
ill. God, who is the perfect authority, says He'd rather be given your obedience than a great sacrificial offering.
1Sa 15:22 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.
ill. Solomon the wisest man said....
Pro 10:1 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Pro 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
exp. Bitterness and heaviness are not good gifts - but a wise obedient son can be the joy of that mother's heart.
Our topic this morning then is obedience and our text is chapter 35 of Jeremiah.
exp. God demonstrated the obedience of the Rechabites by making an object lesson of them to Israel.
1.) The leaders of the Rechabites were called to a meeting with Jeremiah.
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;
exp. Rechabites were nomadic people (tent dwellers) who were Kenites, descendants of Moses father in law, Jethro. They were absorbed into the tribe of Judah. Their great, great, grandfather, Jonadab (Or as referred to in Kings Jehonadab) was a God fearing man. He helped Jehu destroy Baal out of Israel.
2Ki 10:23 And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.
2.) A respected witness observed what took place.
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:
3.) Jeremiah at God's command put a test before the sons of Rechab.
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.
exp. The obedience of the Rechabites is going to be proven so that all can see.
With God's object lesson of obedience as our example this morning, I want to challenge us with How God wants us to obey. Are you an obedient child of God?
I. Obey by deciding. exp. They agree together to obey their father.
6 But they said, We will drink no wine:
ill. Daniel would have appreciated the will of these sons to obey their father.
Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
question: Are you a person of conviction that has "purposed in your heart" not to disobey God?
A. The Rechabites didn't need to discuss what they were going to do - because the decision had already been made.
exp. One of your greatest helps against temptation will be knowing ahead of time what you will do.
ill. Fire safety was big when I was a child.
Commercial on tele when I was a child about what to do if you were on fire, "Stop, drop and roll." Know ahead of time what to do.
Only you can prevent forest fires - don't start campfires in forests.
exp. You could call their abstinence from wine a conviction. It was a predetermined plan as to what they would drink.
app. What are your convictions? Where won't you go? What won't you listen to? (Even Mac can recognize bad (naughty) music? What won't you wear? Who won't you stay around? What won't you say?
B. This was a very real test of their obedience.
exp. They could have reasoned...
1) We have already switched temporarily from tents to houses, why not have a little of the fruit of the vine as well?
2) "When in Rome...." They were temporarily living in Jerusalem.
3) This is God's servant offering this drink to us.
4) 250 years is a long time to keep a promise and they had kept it.
exp. The test was not really a test because there was no doubt as to what they were going to do.
quest. Can you pass a test of obedience because you have decided that you will obey the Lord?
ill. Three Hebrew Children - commanded by Nebuchadnezzar with the multitude who were commanded to come before his statue, when the music played they were to bow down to his idol.
Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
app. Are your convictions known by those around you? Are you clear on your decisions to follow Jesus? You will not obey Jesus if you have not DECIDED TO OBEY JESUS.
II. Obey by knowing. exp. They knew the law of their father.
"...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.
exp. Like those who took the Nazarite vow they would avoid the fruit of the vine. They would not have vineyards because they were nomadic. The emphasis of the passage is not on what their father's law was, but how committed they were to keeping his law.
A. They knew the source of the law. "Our father commanded us...."
exp. They obeyed because Jonadab was a well respected God fearing patriarch of their people.
note: v.16 God marvels that the Rechabites so obeyed THEIR FATHER but Israel didn't obey God!
ill. Speaking to two men in our home - one in particular was interested in Revelation. Saying to them, Revelation proves as do other things that we have here a divine book. If God said it, you and I can't change it. But, we need to know it because it is authoritative. Why? Because it is from God.
app. How do you view this book this morning? If you don't know in your heart that this book is from God - you will not obey it as if it is from God! 2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
B. They knew the law. "Saying, ye shall...."
exp. You could never convince them that their father intended them to drink wine. It was forbidden by him.
ill. Satan from the very beginning of Creation has attacked what God has said.
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
exp. God did not say they could eat of every tree. God said that they could eat of every tree except one.
question: What do you do when Satan says, "Hath God said...?"
1.) What about drinking alcohol for pleasure? Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Pro. 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
2.) What about having friends that are ungodly? Pro 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
app. You better answer your obedience questions with - What does God say in His Word? Know God's low to obey - know that it is GOD'S LAW.
TRANSITION: Obey by knowledge, by decision....
III. Obey by habit. exp. For 250 plus years they had kept these laws.
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.
exp. For "all their days" they "have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded." They were habitually obedient to their father.
ill. Habits are interesting things - you do them without thinking. Biting nails, twirling hair, (Girl in my class that had to have steroid shots because she had twirled a bald spot into her scalp.)
note: There is such a thing as good habits - or manners - being polite, using etiquette, etc.
exp. Bad habits are worth breaking good habits are worth keeping.
What are your good habits of obedience to God?
1) Do you have habits of Personal and family devotions
2) church attendance
3) love for others
5) soul winning/ giving out tracts
6) personal holiness
app. Do you have habits of obedience to help you obey by constancy? God help us to form habits of obedience.
TRANSTION: Obey by habit, by knowledge, by decision.
IV. Obey by wisdom. exp. They had been commanded to dwell in tents but for the current circumstance they had sought safety in Jerusalem. They set aside man's law which did not violate God's law. (This passage has never been about the significance of Jonadab's law - but again about the obedience of his children.)
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.
ill. The pharisees of Jesus day had a rigid application of God's law that exceeded the Spirit of the law.
Luke 6:2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?
Luke 6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Luke 6:7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.
Luke 6:9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
exp. The reason we can obey is because grace has set us free from the bondage of the law. The law condemns but God's grace liberates us from the condemnation. Wisdom rightly understands that salvation is not by law but by grace. We obey the law (not for salvation) but because of God's grace.
2 Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
app. Do you want to obey God's law? Do so with wisdom knowing that it can only be accomplished by God's grace through faith in Jesus.
TRANSITION: obey by wisdom, by habit, by knowledge, by decision....
V. Obey by listening. exp. When God emphasized the success of the Rechabites in obedience he condemned the closed ears of his people.
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.
ill. Husbands have a great way of looking like they are listening while not listening at all. How many times does a wife have to say, "Are you listening to me? What did I say?"
ill. My sister listening to my parents talk about the day. Dad had a Dr.'s appointment and had taken the dog to the vet for flees. Mom asked dad what the Dr. had said at his appointment and dad answered, "He said to sprinkle a bit of flea powder around the bed."
app. Are you listening to God - we will speak about this in our evening service - If you aren't listening - you aren't going to obey. Being in church doesn't mean that you are listening? Opening your Bible doesn't mean that you are listening? God condemns his people because they would not listen.
TRANSITION: obey by listening, by wisdom, by habit, by knowledge, by decision....
VI. Obey by doing. exp. They performed the commandment of their father.
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:
ill. Bob Jones University is currently doing a Shakespearean Play - Merchant of Venice. My costume included tites, make up and a wig. You would have no doubt as to my participation in the play because I performed my part in the play. (You saw my dress, heard my song, saw my character.)
question: How do you perform the command....
1) Be saved -Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
2) Be baptized - Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
3) Be holy - 1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
app. Knowledge is necessary for obedience, but it is vain without it.
TRANSITION: obey by doing, by listening, by wisdom, by habit, by knowledge, by decision....
VII. Obey by responding.
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.
ill. Samuel responded to the Lord by saying, "Speak, for thy servant heareth." I Sam. 22:15
ill. Hearing Mac go around the house mimicing a sargeant saying to his troups, "I can't hear you!"
app. Which one are you? We have an invitation hymn at the conclusion of our service, because when God speaks - obedience responds. Are you responding to His commands today?
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.
God blesses and rewards obedience.
For an authority it is a blessing to have those who are under you obey.
You could not give your mom a better gift today than the gift of obedience.
How about what you are giving to God today? Are you obedient?
1) Obey by decision
2) Obey by knowledge
3) Obey by habit
4) Obey by wisdom
5) Obey by listening
6) Obey by doing
7) Obey by responding
13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts...Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.