66: Good Dad Jonadab
Jeremiah 35:13-14 [The Lord said,] “Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather's command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Unfortunately, the Bible is sorely lacking in examples of good parents—there are plenty of bad ones, but few good ones. Jonadab is the one example of a good parent that really jumps out to me. I know it is an obscure story, but it is still encouraging.
To get a point across, the Lord told Jeremiah to go and offer some wine to the descendents of Recab. They refused saying, “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine…’ We have obeyed everything our forefather Jonadab son of Recab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine.”
Jeremiah took this message to Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah. We don’t know if Habazziniah was the son, grandson, or even great-grandson of Jonadab, but in any case, we do know that Jonadab’s instructions were carried out through at least three generations!
Are you getting lost in all the names? That is understandable. This is a truly obscure passage, but it still carries a great message. Sometimes parenting can seem hopeless. Even when you read through the Bible it can seem like there isn’t a single set of parents that did well with their kids. The story of the kings is particularly discouraging. Yet here, buried away in the book of Jeremiah, is a father that passed something on to his kids, his kids’ kids, and their kids as well. His parenting significantly impacted generations.
Do you believe that your parenting can impact generations? It can. God’s ways work. You can always count on that.
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