I. THE CLAN OF RECHAB.
A. Jeremiah's invitation to them to come into one of the large rooms of the Temple, and set pots of wine before them with the invitation to drink.
1. These men refused the invitation to drink declaring that their ancestor Jonadab who was the son of Rechab told their fathers that they were not to drink wine, nor their sons forever.
2. They were also instructed not to build houses, nor sow seed or plant vineyards.
3. They were to live in tents.
B. They told Jeremiah that the only reason that they were presently in Jerusalem was for safety from the Babylonians for they already occupied all of the territory outside the city walls of Jerusalem.
1. They still to the present time were obeying the injunction that was given to them by Jonadab.
2. Jeremiah was greatly impressed by this clan because of their obedience to the command given to their fathers several generations earlier.
II. THE WORD OF THE LORD TO JEREMIAH ON OBEDIENCE.
A. Jeremiah was to give the message to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
1. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab who commanded his sons not to drink wine they are obeying to the present day. But I have spoken and you have not harkened unto Me.
B. The commandments that God had given to them.
1. Return from your evil ways.
2. Amend your doings.
3. Go not after other gods to serve them.
C. The promise that God made to them was that they would dwell in the land that God had given to them.
III. THE IMPORTANCE OF OBEDIENCE.
A. The first scripture I memorized as a child was, "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right, honor your father and mother that your days may be long upon the earth for this is the first commandment with promise."
1. Why should a child obey his parents in the Lord?
a. Because a child does not possess good judgment and for safety sake needs to obey the commands of their parents.
b. My father used to always carry a pen knife, why? I do not know, why do I carry a comb? As I would see him take out his pen knife to cut a rope, or his fingernails, I was always so fascinated with his pen knife. There would be many times that I would beg him to let me play with it. He told me that the blade was sharp and could cut me. I did not really understand the danger.
c. I did not understand the danger of playing in the street.
B. Disobedience is the essence of sin.
1. Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, and this is where the problems all began.
2. When King Saul disobeyed God concerning the Amalakites saying that he brought the best animals back to sacrifice to God, the prophet Samuel said to him, "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to harken to God was more important than the fat of rams.
3. God gave the 10 commandments that were to be the basis of their relationship with Him.
a. To obey them was the basis of their relationship to Him, also it was to insure the preservation of their society.
b. No society that ignores the 10 commandments can exist very long.
c. They are the basic foundation of social order.
4. The poor philosophers who through the centuries have been searching for what is good, only need to turn to the commandments of God. "He has shown you O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you."
a. To obey the commandments is good.
b. To disobey the commandments is evil, and the beginning of the disintegrating of your life.
c. Things that build you up and make you a better person are good.
d. Things that tear you down and destroy you are evil.
C. God is calling the people to turn from their evil.
1. Their evil has almost destroyed them, the means of their destruction is outside the gates of their city.
2. Even now God would deliver them if only they would turn to Him.
D. God is calling them to amend their doings.
1. Yesterday I was driving a Van that only had an A.M. station, so not being able to get KWVE I tuned in to a talk radio program where the audience was discussing the call of Cardinal Manning to the movie industry to discuss the possibility of creating movies that would present good family entertainment. Movies where love was extolled, good family life, strong moral values presented. It was of the current violence and high crime rate that the Cardinal called for these discussions. From those that called in to protest the Cardinals actions you would think that he had committed some great crime suggesting that their be any curbs or restrictions on anything that sells the mentality of Hollywood.
2. I do not know if they screen the calls and only allow the calls to go through that are liberal, or if only liberal people listen to the talk shows, but I was appalled at the anger and rage that the people expressed because they were called upon to amend their ways.
E. Finally God called them not to go after the other gods to serve them. What were the other gods that they were serving.
1. The gods of pleasure.
2. The gods of power.
3. The gods of excitement and fertility.
F. If they would obey God promised that they could dwell in the land that He gave to their fathers.
G. Because they would not obey God promised to bring upon them all of the evil that he had pronounced against them.
IV. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF LIFE DO NOT CHANGE.
A. To obey God and to follow him will bring you life, peace, and joy. There is a satisfaction and contentment.
B. To disobey God will bring death, sorrow, pain, anguish, contention, conflict, and turmoil. Maybe these words describe your life today.
C. Perhaps your life is on the brink of destruction today, and God is calling you to turn from your evil ways and amend your doings, to turn from the false gods that have enslaved you.