Summary: Disciplines which contribute to Godly success.
Wisdom for Successful Living
The Rechabites were descendents of Moses father-in-law Jethro. They were God-fearing people with a strong testimony in Israel.
As we saw last week, the newly anointed king Jehu chose Jonadab the son of Rechab to ride with him in his chariot as he cleaned up the wicked influences that had dominated Israel.
Jonadab’s presence would have strengthened Jehu’s reputation as a godly king.
And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
Jehu executed the wicked sons of Ahab and his evil wife, Jezebel. He went on to destroy the prophets of Baal. Jonadab observed as Jehu acted with zeal. He also took to heart the lessons of Jehu’s shortcomings… 2 Kings 10:28-32 says,
Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;
I believe Jonadab was motivated to some personal decisions regarding how he could insure that he would keep his heart right with God. He passed these expectations on to his descendents and likely solemnized them in his last will & testament.
Almost 300 years later, the descendents of Jonadab were still following their father’s example and showing loyalty to the Lord. Jeremiah was assigned to test the Rechabites so that their contrasting obedience could challenge Judah and be an example to every generation. Vs.1-5
What were the Commands of Jonadab? Vs.6-10
• No wine
• No houses
• No farms (Scribes – I Chron.2:55)
What was the reason for his commands?
• A Healthy restriction (No wine)
Dr. Adolph Lorenz, a famous surgeon, refused a drink at a banquet. He was asked “Are you a tee-totaler?” He responded, “Yes, my success depends upon my brains being clear, my muscles firm, and my nerves steady. No one can take alcoholic liquor without blunting these physical powers, which must be kept on edge. As a physician I must not drink.”
Thomas Alva Edison was asked why he didn’t drink. The great scientist replied, “I have a better use for my brains.”
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
An Emergency-room Doctor wrote, “Recently we saw another preview of hell in the Parkland Hospital in Dallas. A woman struck down by a drunken driver. A college student lying semi-conscious following a head on collision with another drunk driver who himself was critically injured. The drunk’s companion was dead. Four other drunks with lacerations and stab wounds waiting to be treated. Night after night, year after year, the same bloody trail of horror, major automobile accidents, stabbings, rapes, wife-beatings, the nightly emergencies treated and released or admitted to the hospital or pronounced dead on arrival; and almost always the bloody trail is lead by that honored man of distinction, the weekend drinker, not the alcoholic.
I wonder if there is that much joy to be gained from the total consumption of all beers and whiskies ever made, ever to equal even a small fraction of the innocent suffering, the damaged bodies, the broken marriages, the discarded children, the total brutalities and crimes that will inevitably accompany its use.
What a quiet place our emergency room would be if beverage alcohol were ever abolished from our city!”