Jeremiah 35:1-3 GNT
When Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord said to me, “Go to the members of the Rechabite clan and talk to them. Then bring them into one of the rooms in the Temple and offer them some wine.” So I took the entire Rechabite clan—Jaazaniah (the son of another Jeremiah, who was Habazziniah’s son) and all his brothers and sons—
Jeremiah 35:5-6 GNT
Then I placed cups and bowls full of wine before the Rechabites, and I said to them, “Have some wine.” But they answered, “We do not drink wine. Our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab told us that neither we nor our descendants were ever to drink any wine.
Jeremiah 35:12-14 GNT
Then the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, told me to go and say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “I, the Lord, ask you why you refuse to listen to me and to obey my instructions. Jonadab’s descendants have obeyed his command not to drink wine, and to this very day none of them drink any. But I have kept on speaking to you, and you have not obeyed me.
This account offers a moving testimony to the influence that a parent wields over the lives of his/her children. God demonstrates to the children of Israel how generations down the line of Jonadab his values were still being faithfully passed on and lived by. Not only were his offsprings living out Jonadab’s values, even a renowned prophet (Jeremiah) could not talk them out of it in spite of the fact that he took them into the intimidating chambers of the Temple.
As a parent of two young children, I am of course challenged by the fact that I may be much more responsible for how my kids turn out than I realize. As king Solomon said…
Proverbs 22:6 GNT
Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all
At a time when the deep fear and popular lament of many a parent is for how their kids will turn out well in a world that daily finds new ways to profane whatever is considered sacred, the account of Jonadab and his descendants should renew our hope in the time-tested truth that the office of the parent is the most powerful office in the world for shaping the future.
More thoughts on this in subsequent part(s)…