Then the Lord told me to say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
I, the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, want you to learn a lesson14 from the Rechabite clan. Their ancestor Jonadab told his descendants never to drink wine, and to this very day they have obeyed him. But I have spoken to you over and over, and you haven’t obeyed me!15 You refused to listen to my prophets, who kept telling you, “Stop doing evil and worshiping other gods! Start obeying the Lord, and he will let you live in this land he gave your ancestors.”
16 The Rechabites have obeyed the command of their ancestor Jonadab, but you have not obeyed me, 17 your God. I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I warned you about the terrible things that would happen to you if you did not listen to me. You have ignored me, so now disaster will strike you. I, the Lord, have spoken. Jeremiah 35:12-17 (CEV)
I was listening to a sermon yesterday with this text as the basis for the speaker. It was a good sermon but it “went over the river and through the woods” while I was stopped at the river to meditate on the initial point: obedience. Frankly, I would have rather just followed the speaker’s trail because then I would have been distracted and ignored what my Father really wanted me to learn. Sigh. He got me!
Why do I not obey God? Why do I continue to sin?
A child may be disobedient because of ignorance. The first 4-5 years of a child’s life is a time of learning about their world. The learn about the danger in streets, hot stoves and electrical plugs. A parent must be diligent and consistent in order to teach their child.
God laid out His commandments right there in the Bible in black and white so I can read it and learn it. Then He gave me Jesus as my example on how to live those commandments. My disobedience is not because of ignorance!
A child may be disobedient because they are stubborn. In some ways it is a good thing for a child to have strong sense of right and wrong. It can keep a child from being led astray by someone with a stronger personality. But those of us who do have strong personalities, we are reluctant to bend our wills and give in. One of the factors in my disobedience is willfulness!
A child may be obedient because they fear the consequences. Yes, a consequence could be a spanking. This isn’t a time or place to discuss the pros and cons of spanking. But as a child grows, the consequences for disobedience are more likely not getting to do what they want. God is speaking to me today about those consequences. He wants to open doors for me but I do have to learn His lessons and show I can be obedient to what He wants me to do. Do I truly understand who my Heavenly Father is? How powerful He is?
A child may be obedient because they love their parents and want their approval. My Father wants so much for our relationship to be so deep with love that I will obey because I love Him so much and want to please Him.
So when I ponder my sins I also remember I am God’s child. It may not be easy to accept that I am stubborn and prideful in wanting things my way. When I spend more time with God and learn more from Jesus and His ways, I become more trusting of God. I bend to His ways even when I cannot see the full picture of His plan for my life. I know His love and desire to please Him. Then I know His blessings on my life.
Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus written by Louisa M R Stead & William J Kirkpatrick
The story behind the hymn :
The hymn sung by Casting Crowns: