Doctor Henderson was enjoying his afternoon cleaning out his garage. Both of his boys were off to summer camps and his wife was off visiting her sister so he knew no one would bother him and no one would miss anything he decided to throw out. Of course, working out in the garage meant friends would stop by to chat like Robert Grey.
“Hey! Joe!” Robert hollered out as he wandered up the driveway to the garage, “You got a minute?” “Joe?” Tim asked, “Joe who?” And just so you know, when Doctor Henderson isn't at work, he likes to be called Tim. “Joe you, that's who” Robert answered. “I'm not Joe” Tim said. “You're not?” Robert said a bit puzzled, “I’ve got to find my glasses.”
“Gramps,” That's what Tim likes to call Robert, “Your glasses are right on top...” “Well, if you're not Joe,” Robert interrupted, “You must be Pete the guy with smelly feet.” “I'm not Pete!” Tim grunted, “And me feet don't stink.” “Well whoever you are.” Robert interrupted again, “can I borrow some furniture polish?”
“No!” Tim answered, “Besides, I'm cleaning my garage right now.” “Okay” Robert sighed, “Just thought I'd ask.” “What do you need Furniture Polish for any way?” Tim asked out of curiosity. “I'm just heading out to the cemetery” Robert answered. Now time was confused. “What do you need furniture polish for at the cemetery?” “It's my Mom's birthday!” Robert answered as if Tim should have known.
“I think I' missing something.” Tim said shaking his head, “Why do you want to take a can of furniture polish to the cemetery for your Mom’s birthday?” “I thought I would spend some time polishing her headstone.” Robert answered, “She died ten years ago.” “Wouldn't flowers be easier.” Tim had to ask.
Now it was Robert's turn to look confused, “Have YOU ever tried polishing flowers?” he asked. “No, No, No.” Tim replied, “ I don’t mean polish flowers. I mean give flowers.” “Anybody can do that.” Robert said with a smile, “Besides every time I go out there somebodies covered the entire grave sight with flowers.”
“She must have been loved.” Tim said with a smile. “She sure was.” Robert said in agreement, “And that’s why I want to honor her with a clean, polished headstone.” “Sounds like you were listening to last Sunday's sermon.” Tim said. “Last Sunday's Sermon?” Robert questioned, “I couldn't hear it. My ….. Never mind. See you later”
Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?" says the LORD. - Jeremiah 35:12-13(NKJV)
Have you ever had problems with obedience? Judah was. Judah was having problems with obeying God and it was time for God to use an object lesson to teach the people of Judah. To do so Jeremiah was sent to the Rechabites.
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, "Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink." Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites, 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, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door. Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, "Drink wine." But they said, "We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, 'You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever. 'You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.' "Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, "nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed. "But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. "But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, 'Come, 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." Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?" says the LORD. "The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father's commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me. "I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, 'Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.' But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me. "Surely the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them, but this people has not obeyed Me." ' "Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them but they have not heard, and I have called to them but they have not answered.' " And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, 'therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever." ' "
Jeremiah 35:1-19 (NKJV)
Look at the promise that comes with the 5th commandment. - "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. - Exodus 20:12 (ESV) The Rechabites kept the commandment and God saw too it that they were taken care of. Israel on the other hand refused to keep God's commands.
Believe it or not, to dishonor our parents and to not obey them is to dishonor God and not obey Him for He is the one that gave the command to begin with. And we can learn that God was very serious about honoring and obeying parents.
"If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (ESV)
Are you glad this doesn't happen now? Here are a few more verses of encouragement.
- Proverbs 23:22 - Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. (ESV)
- Colossians 3:20 - Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. (ESV)
- Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (ESV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- How do you honor and obey your parents today?
- How do you honor and obey God today