How Much Do Obedience and Abortion Matter?
"Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands and done according to all that he commanded you; therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Jonadad the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.'"'"
When I was growing up, our family had some rules. Not many. Not unreasonable. However, we were told we had to follow them, no questions asked. I did. I always wanted to be 'good' and I obeyed what my parents outlined as expected behavior.
Because I obeyed them, my parents trusted me with responsibilities and privileges that were sometimes 'over the top' in scope. That was their decision, not mine. But in living out those responsibilities and privileges, I was careful to do so within the boundaries of our family rules.
Similarly and inferred from the quoted Scripture, it looks like God trusted the Rechabites because they had explicitly obeyed the words of their father, Jonadab. Without fail or argument, they were obedient sons!
Just who were the Rechabites? They were descendents of the Moabites and related to Moses way back in the Old Testament. The Rechabites were separatists who refused to participate in practices associated with the Canaanites, a very pagan, idolatrous nation God drove out of the Promised Land when He gave it to the Hebrew people.
Because of their careful adherence to all their father, Jonadab, had instructed generations earlier, God saw that He could trust them with responsibility in His kingdom and said, "Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always."
What makes obedience so important? Does it really matter if we obey God or not?
Over and over in the Old Testament, God told the Hebrews that they needed to observe His commandments and precepts, to obey them, and blessings would follow. And, if they didn't heed His warning, judgment would be the outcome.
As long as Israel did as God commanded them to do, the people prospered. From the time of Samuel, the prophet...he is the one who anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel...until Josiah's reign as King of Judah hundreds of years later, Israel never observed a single Passover meal (II Chronicles 35). God did not judge the nation immediately for such lapses that He had clearly told them should be practiced faithfully. He did judge Israel for what followed, however. God's judgment always comes according to the pattern set by those who profess to be His people. That's just what Israel did.
First, she stopped observing what God told her to do every week. The Sabbath was set aside as a day when the people chosen by God would fellowship with Him. It was a day of rest; no business or ordinary tasks were to be done, so the people could rest physically and spiritually fellowship with Jehovah.
Second, Israel stopped the annual observance of Passover. This meal commemorated the time when God rescued and freed His people from slavery in pagan Egypt and set them on course to inherit the land of Canaan with all its bounty. It memorialized their day of salvation! Passover was to be a reminder to the Hebrews of the place from which they had come only by the miraculous intervention of God's hand. It celebrated their freedom from slavery! But Israel forgot!
God gave the Hebrew nation many laws to maintain correct relationships between themselves and God and with each other. According to various passages in the Bible, those observances declined, as well. They did not show compassion on the fatherless and widows. They took Hebrews as indentured servants, but did not live up to the limit of six years, then freedom. There were many other laws they broke, as well.
When God's laws are ignored or broken, so is fellowship with Him. Human nature has the inclination to worship something and it led the Hebrews to drift toward the practices of the Canaanites, the people around them. This tribe was a giant people descended from the Nephilim of Genesis 6. They were part human, part angelic. The Flood came to wipe out their kind, but they reproduced afterward and inhabited the land God eventually gave to Abraham and his offspring forever.
The Canaanites worshipped the god, Molech. Molech was a huge brazen image with a hollow inside that became a blazing oven of flames and live coals when it was fired up. Molech's two outstretched arms formed something of a cradle. When a parent wanted to make a sacrifice to Molech to appease him or seek favor, they usually took their first-born and placed it in the arms of Molech. From there the child or infant rolled into the belly and fire and perished, burned to a crisp!
Gruesome, isn't it? Just the thought of doing that to a child today is beyond imagination. Yet, in America we have a form of Molech worship that has now sacrificed well over 61 million babies. We call it legalized abortion.
The Canaanites didn't have the modern technology and capabilities of performing an abortion medically, but they did have a way to limit their families and satisfy their personal goal: kill a child. Certainly, a child sacrificed to Molech felt the pain and heat of the fire as they rolled into it They suffered greatly.
Today we know that infants feel pain in utero very early in their development. Yet, the abortionist tears them limb from limb as he or she sucks the little body from the mother's uterus that should be that baby's safe haven! Worse yet, today's liberals condone letting that little baby die unattended if it's born alive at or near term when it could survive outside the womb. It can feel pain, it can shiver with cold, it does feel hunger pangs that are the natural first instinct of a new-born: to suckle and bond with its mother. But that same mother permits that helpless baby to be murdered!
America began her downward spiral in the '60s with the drug culture, free love and the throwing off of all moral restraint. Next came the rejection of God's laws when Bible reading and prayer were outlawed in schools. We rid our halls and monuments of the Ten Commandments that include "You shall not murder," so in 1973 the Roe v Wade decision 'legalized' abortion. Thus began the murder of countless babies in the guise of Maternal Health or Women's Reproductive Health verbiage.
Yes, America first kicked God out of public life. Then, worshipping at the feet of the pagan god of murder became easy, but God has had enough of it! Has He now rejected our cries?
The Bible tells in great detail what happened to Israel because she did not heed God's warnings about disobedience. She lost her entitlement to the land of Israel, her comfortable way of life, her safety and prosperity. Instead, she became a vassal of Babylon, a pagan nation to the core with immoral practices and cruelty like she had never seen before.
If we're willing, America will take heed and reverse her evil practices. Otherwise, worse than we've seen lies ahead for her. God hates murder! God hates abortion! When will we wake up and listen to Him? Obedience does matter. It is central to knowing the blessing of God. Is it already too late for America? I hope not. But it's all up to us! Back to obedience!