Today, our Baylor 1st Call to Prayer meets for parents of adult children. A prayer for a prayer group is a good thing...
We all have choices. Sometimes the choices, made when we are young, begin to define our lives. Jesus, being a man had choices as well.
The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?
Because Jesus was man, God gave Jesus choices in the beginning, the middle and even the end....
Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
Jesus, being God, made His choice to offer us salvation, unearned. He provided a way forward for us in His Hope and His Promises.
What did the life of Jesus offer us as a way for our own lives?
John 1:1-5, 9-13, 14-17
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 35 - Living in Jerusalem
English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 "Go to the house of the Rechabites and speak with them and bring them to the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers; then offer them wine to drink."
3 So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah and his brothers and all his sons and the whole house of the Rechabites. 4 I brought them to the house of the LORD into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the officials, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, keeper of the threshold. 5 Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups, and I said to them, "Drink wine." 6 But they answered, "We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, 'You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. 7 You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.' 8 We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, 9 and not to build houses to dwell in. We have no vineyard or field or seed, 10 but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11 But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, 'Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and the army of the Syrians.' So we are living in Jerusalem."
12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares the LORD. 14 The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me. 15 I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, 'Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers.' But you did not incline your ear or listen to me. 16 The sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have kept the command that their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me. 17 Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered."
18 But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, 19 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me."
How would the house of Rechabites know whether to listen to Jeremiah in the house of God telling them to drink wine or to remember their oath. It would be confusing living during those moments. Coming war had driven them from a nomadic state to the city. The oath to the father, to be pure, is more important than the invitation to live for the moment or to sympathize with a prophet of God in the Lord's house.
Adversity is as defining as blessing. Solomon wrote the day of adversity is as from the Lord as well.
The way wasn't clearly cut, but the Rechabites listened not to the moment or the political environment or an unpopular prophet or to merely dismissed his offer for political gain. They didn't curry favor with a man of God and they did not work against him by declining his offer to appeal more to the king - who disfavored Jeremiah. God weighted the hearts and minds of the Rechabites and found their motives to be to His liking.
I like this passage. It is not always easy to determine what is the best path in given circumstance swiftly moving. But prayer for guidance and relying upon the Lord directs one to the next step.
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
Father God, be with us in the choices and commitments we make, even when no decision is made consciously. Help us as we walk the path You've given us to be grace and truth. To do justice, give truth with mercy and walk humbly with You. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.