Living a Godly Life in an Ungodly Culture August 1, 2018 /

Living a Godly Life in an Ungodly Culture

The Book of Jeremiah details God’s frustrations with the disobedience of His People.  They were enamored by other cultures, worshipping false gods and disobeying His commands.  He calls Jeremiah to be a prophet for the people to warn them of certain captivity in Babylon if they do not turn from their evil ways.  In chapter 35, God used a human patriarchal relationship as an illustration to Jeremiah, what He would like to see His people be with Him - as a father to his children.

God commands Jeremiah to summon the descendants of Jonadab (the Racabites who were now living in Jerusalem) to escape the Babylonian and Aramean armies.  They were to go to a room in the House of God and there, Jeremiah was to give them wine to drink.  So, Jeremiah did just that and once in the room, presented this family with bowls of wine with cups and said to them, “drink the wine.”  But the family replied, “We do not drink wine because our forefather, Jonadab, gave this command:  neither you or your descendants must ever drink the wine.”  They were also commanded to live as nomads in tents and not to plant crops.  They said, “we have obeyed all the commands given to us by our forefather Jonadab, son of Recab.  Even our wives, sons, and daughters have obeyed.”  Jeremiah, after receiving the word of the Lord, let the family know that because of their obedience to Jonadab, their descendants will never fail to serve the Lord.

As I read and studied this story several insights were revealed:

  • The Racabite family (a people who accompanied the Israelites into the Holy Land and lived among them) obeyed commands without challenge, argument, or ignoring them.  God desires us to obey just as this family demonstrated to their forefather.  How often do we find ourselves knowing how to act or what to do in any given situation, but we make the choice to disobey because we do not feel like it?
  • It is not known why they were commanded to not drink wine or live as nomads.  But what can be concluded is this way of life was set apart from the culture.  God also calls us to be set apart, not to give in to the conventional way of thinking that is the opposite of how he commands us to live.  His will is for us to lead Holy lives as our Heavenly Father is Holy.
  • Intentionally obeying God step by step increases the strength to withstand temptation.  The Racabite family had obeyed the word of their forefather at least a couple of generations.  They were not even influenced by the Israelites’ disobedience when they came to Jerusalem to live.
  • As a family, The Racabites supported one another to obey.  As Christians, we also have a family of believers, a support network, who can provide us insight when we make inappropriate decisions and to encourage us to obey God.
  • And finally, there is blessing in obedience.
  • Just as the Israelites were held captive by the Babylonians for their disobedience, we are also held captive by our own sin.  God showed Jeremiah that it is possible to live a Godly life in an ungodly culture.  He used the descendants of Jonadab to illustrate His point.  In the same way, He asks each one of us to turn daily to Him praising Him, thanking Him, and giving specific petitions to Him so that we become completely dependent upon Him for everything.  In this, we are called to obedience.

    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
    Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

    I pray strength from our Lord Jesus to withstand the force of our culture to live a Godly life.

    Tenderly in Jesus,

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