Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 26 : Honor Your Parents | Day 180

Honor God by Honoring Parents!

When Jeremiah brought the elders of a large family into the Temple and offered them wine to drink, they responded with an amazing account of how they had honored the instructions of their forefather for more than 250 years!

They told Jeremiah, "We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard … but all your days ye shall dwell in tents … Thus have we obeyed … and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us” (Jeremiah 35:6-10).

God praised and rewarded the Rechabites for honoring the commandment of their earthly father. He used them as an example before Judah of the obedience that should have been rendered to Him as their heavenly Father. "The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you … but ye hearkened not unto me” (Jeremiah 35:14).

The honor we give to an earthly father is a reflection of the honor we show to our heavenly Father.

The correlation between honoring earthly fathers and honoring our heavenly Father is clearly seen in Scripture: "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts …” (Malachi 1:6).

Because the Rechabites honored their father, God honored them with sons who would be true to Him: "Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want [lack] a man to stand before me for ever” (Jeremiah 35:19).

We are wise to listen to the counsel our parents give us from their years of life experience.

In the course of two and a half centuries, there is no doubt that the Rechabites encountered tremendous pressure to disobey their father's command. They would have had many plausible reasons to disobey as well, such as the fact that the commands were given to them so long ago, the instruction no longer fit the present culture, the Mosaic law was not as strict as these commands (especially the command to not buy property or live in houses), and no one else in Judah had to obey them. However, because they honored their father and obeyed his commands, the Rechabites escaped capture by invading armies and the resulting slavery in a foreign land that Judah experienced.

Many people today think that they have good reasons to reject the instruction of their parents, but the message of the Rechabites stands as a lasting reminder that God honors those who honor their parents.

“For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death” (Matthew 15:4).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard