Summary: Jonadab provides an example of a father who left a spiritual legacy that lasted generations, even though he lived in times of political and spiritual decline.
It happened somewhere between my 40th birthday and the birth of our first grandchild. I started thinking about our family’s legacy.
What can we do to ensure that the next generation continues in the faith?
What can we do to build a strong legacy of Christian commitment?
We have been studying FIVE WORDS for a GODLY HOME. These key words are
LOVE, which is the central heart attitude given to husbands.
RESPECT, which is the central heart attitude given to wives.
HONOR which is the central heart attitude given to children.
FORGIVENESS which applies to all family members, and
LEGACY which is the result when a family honors the Lord.
Even though we are living during a time of spiritual and moral decline, we must ask:
Can I build a Spiritual Legacy in my family during a time of Spiritual decline?
A second important question follows the first,
Is there an example of someone in Scripture who built a Spiritual legacy in a time of spiritual decline?
Thankfully, the answer to both questions is an resounding YES. I would like to propose an obscure Old testament saint named Jonadab as our example today.
In his book, “The Promise of Jonadab,” author Ray Moor writes, “Jonadab may be the greatest dad in the Bible.” That is a strong statement, made largely because Jonadab succeeded in securing multiple generations of faithful children during a time of moral and spiritual decline.
We find Jonadab’s Legacy recorded in Jeremiah 35:18-19
“Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Recabites, “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’ Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.’ ”” (Jeremiah 35:18–19, NIV84)
Through Jeremiah, the Lord instructs this descendent of Jonadab that his family line would continue throughout future generations in Israel. That is a statement made only of the Patriarchs in the Old Testament.
Not only was Jonadab successful in producing future generations of faithful children, he also did it in an ungodly place during a time of great opposition toward God and God’s people.
Jonadab was a common man living in the land of the ten Northern Tribes of Israel during the reign of wicked King Ahab and his notorious wife, Jezebel. The prophet Elijah encountered both, and battled the wicked prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Israel was in the deepest part of its spiritual wickedness. God, his prophets and his people were under felonious assault as their spiritual heritage was being sold off and given away to the Baal worshippers.
The TIMELINE of events is helpful to understand the extend of Jonadab’s spiritual legacy
1,000 BC is the general time of the united Kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon
At the very beginning of the Divided Kingdom, after the northern Kingdom’s first king Jerobam, the prophet Ahijah gave a prophesy in 900 BC that the Northern kingdom would be punished, driven from the land, and never heard from again.