Saturday, July 31, 2021

Truth or Fiction


With so much of our history under current revision, or in some cases eliminated altogether from our classrooms, History is becoming a thing of the past. That’s funny, but seriously, it is important I ensure our church family is not ignorant of all God has done to preserve, protect, and provide us with His plan for us since the beginning of time.

Something you may not be aware of is that as of September 2020, 70% of American Colleges and Universities do not even require a US History course to be taken for History Majors. For example: History majors at UNC Chapel Hill are required to take African History, Asian History, and Middle Eastern or Latin History for their degree but not American History. Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Chicago also do not require a course in American History to receive a History Degree.

Five important world events also being dropped or under review by elementary, secondary, and higher learning schools this year are:

·        The American Revolutionary War

·        The Civil War

·        World War I

·        World War II

·        The Holocaust

I am so glad we have not allowed the current social environment, ever changing public opinion, the threat of increased gang violence, or self-interest groups through the centuries to alter or re-write the Word of God. Although many have tried, the Word has not, does not, and will not change. Any revision of the Gospel of Jesus Christ could only be based on fiction, fable, or fantasy.

God saw fit to give us a written account of those things most dear to His heart and hope. I am truly thankful for the Bible; it is God’s Holy Word … a Rock on which I can always depend. Though many have tried to destroy it, remove it, ignore it, malign it, deny it, and make it out to be a lie, it will never change. From the first letter of Genesis to the last letter of Revelation, the Bible is the true and everlasting, imperishable Word of Almighty God and it is without equal.

What a privilege we have to hold in our hands the never-changing, everlasting, eternal plan for the redemption of mankind. The accounts of Noah and Abraham, Sarah and Rachael, Moses and Joshua, Rahab and Tamar, Boaz and Samson, Ruth and Deborah, David and Solomon, Bathsheba and Abigail, and Esther, and Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and Mary and Joseph, and the Disciples of Christ, and those who built the first Churches along with so many martyrs who willingly gave their lives for their faith in Jesus … these accounts are all still being shared with life changing results all around the world every day.

God’s story … His-Story … the history of God bringing Jesus to a lost and hurting world … it is truth and truth has power. Fictions, fables, and fantasies do not. Listen to these powerful words:

John 8

31  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

32  “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Where would we be without the written, recorded, boldly proclaimed Gospel of Jesus Christ.


·        Jehovah God Almighty, created the heavens and the earth.

o   He set the stars in their place

o   He rules the universe

o   He is eternal; omnipotent; omniscient; and omni-present

o   He loves you, knows your name, and wants to be your Father

·        Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God.

o   He was born of a virgin

o   He lived a sinless life

o   He died a sacrificial, atoning death on the cross of Calvary

o   He rose from the grave victorious over sin, death, and hell

o   He is coming again in the air to collect His bride

·        There is a heaven and there is a hell.

o   Jesus will one day come to judge the earth, angels, and men

o   Jesus will win the battle and cast satan into the lake of fire

o   There will be a new heaven and a new earth created by God

o   There will be no sickness, sin, pain, or death

·        Jesus will forgive your sins and save your soul if you call on Him.

o   The saved will enjoy eternity with Jesus forever …

o   This is all paid for by the precious and perfect blood of Jesus

Before our nation was born, when America was only a few colonies governed by England, in the early 1700, in the winter of 1714 to be exact, the as yet unrevised, but almost altogether forgotten, history of America, tells us that a man was born in Gloucester, England. His name was George Whitfield. George wasn’t perfect, but he has since been perfected.

After graduating at Oxford, Whitfield became a minister of the Gospel and preached all over England before moving to the Americas in 1740 at the age of 25. During the next 30 years, critical years for America, Whitfield preached to crowds of 5, 15, 5000, 20, 200, 3, and even 30,000 in one setting without the use of a microphone. He preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s desire to save the repentant sinner, at any place and at any time. He recorded more than 18,000 sermons and spoke to more than 10,000,000 people, one city, one service, one witness, one revival at a time.

The messages and meetings surrounding Whitfield soon drew the attention of Benjamin Franklin who finally decided to check it out for himself. He went to hear Whitfield who was speaking from the steps of the courthouse in Philadelphia. When Franklin, ever the skeptic, sized up the crowd, he started walking away counting his strides. At the point where he could no longer hear Whitfield preaching the Word distinctly, he stopped and calculated the area and mass of people it would contain. According to his mathematics, and to his amazement, he calculated Whitfield could be heard clearly preaching the Gospel by more than 30,000 people.

Something else Benjamin Franklin noted which further amazed him. He wrote:

“… wonderful ... change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seem'd as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro' the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.” ~ Franklin

It is believed that 80 percent of the people living in America, both black and white, slave and free, young and old heard Whitfield preach the saving grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in person during those 30 years. He was an honest, serious, straight-forward preacher of the Word of God.

George Whitfield said:

“As God can send a nation or people no greater blessing than to give them faithful, sincere and upright ministers, so the greatest curse that God can possibly send upon a people in this world is to give them over to blind, unregenerate, carnal, lukewarm and unskilled guides.” ~ George Whitefield

He pulled no punches and is further quoted as saying:

"It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher." ~ George Whitefield

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Jesus also said:

Matthew 10: 34  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”

All scripture must be interpreted and understood and applied in light of the one message of the Gospel. The Gospel is a message of faith and redemption. Scripture must therefore be interpreted by scripture.

Jesus was not suggesting that His end goal was division but rather He fully understood and wanted others to realize that when anyone decides to walk by faith in Christ, others, even others who are close, will be set at variance with them. We must not hold to our social acceptance more than we do the truth.

This world will do everything possible to intimidate you and force you to comply with their current truth and agenda. One of the biggest ploys of the devil is aimed at making you afraid to stand up and speak out.

Don’t fall into the trap of self-censorship when it comes to the truth, faith, and your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Only Jesus saves.

When confronted by Nicodemus who was a powerful man in Jerusalem, Jesus kindly, lovingly, yet firmly and as a matter of fact said to Nicodemus:

John 3  NKJV

3  Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

7  “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

This was not the most socially acceptable view at that time, nor since. But it is the only truth, anything else, anything less, is fiction, fable, or fantasy. Without accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, men and women will die in their sins. Without Christ:

·        Your mom and your dad will die in their sins.

·        Your husband or your wife will die in their sins

·        Your son and your daughter will die in their sins.

·        Your brother and your sister will die in their sins.

·        Your best friend and their family will die in their sins.

Why would allow intimidation or fear of isolation or alienation make us self-censor in these precious moments and keep us from telling others the loving, saving truth about Jesus?

Today I plead with you:

1.   Repent and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

2.   Refuse to allow intimidation to censor the Truth in you.

3.   Resist forced compliance as you would resist the devil … after all … it’s just another fake lion roaring in the wind … the real Lion is Jesus!

4.   Remember, only the Truth can set you free!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The Devil Knows


2 Corinthians 7:5  For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.

The devil knows he could never make God stop loving you … no doubt he has tried. He also knows he can’t make God stop doing good things for you. What the devil is banking on however, is that he can get you to stop loving God, stop trusting God, or just to stop wanting to do things for Him. This has been the devil’s relentless pursuit since the Garden of Eden.

The attacks of the devil against the people God loves is evident. The devil will stop at nothing in his attempts to separate people from the blessings of God. The devil has used lies and false accusations; he has planted seeds of doubt and distrust; He has tried disappointment and discouragement; he has fostered fear, frustration, worry, shame, and all types of anxiety disorders to captivate and control the minds of men and women in his attempts to get them to blame God for their problems.


The devil looks for ways to cause pain, loss, anger, shame, and regret in the lives of those who love God and are called according to His will. He tries every thing imaginable in his efforts to either to push or to pull people away from God. One of the favorite tactics of the devil is to cause separation between friends or amongst family members, Church members, citizens of a community or a nation, hoping he can get one of both sides to act ungodly towards the other.

The devil cannot separate people from people or people from God unless he can trick at least one person into working for him.

The devil knows ungodliness disrupts the flow of God’s blessings in our lives. We see this played out over and over throughout history and even in the lives of some of the greatest heroes of the Bible. Men and women like:

·        Adam and Eve (with the forbidden fruit)

·        Abraham and Sarah (in the matter of Hagar)

·        Job and his wife (and her attempts to get him to curse God and die)

·        The sons of Isaac and Rebecca (Esau and Jacob fought and divided)

·        The tribes of Israel (sold their brother into slavery and lied to Jacob)

·        The Scribes and Pharisees in the days of Jesus (Hypocrites)

·        The congregation in the first Church in Jerusalem (murmured)

·        The Church in Antioch (Barnabas and Paul, no small dissention)

·        The life ministry of the Apostle Paul (persecutions and thorns)

It’s been a long tough road for both God and those who refuse to deny Him, blame Him, or leave the place to which He has called them.

In the spring of AD58, the Apostle Paul was concluding his third missionary journey just prior to heading back to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover that year. Paul and his companions were in Greece, specifically in the city of Corinth. Paul had been teaching the Believers in the Church at Corinth for about 3 months and had been raising contributions for the poor and persecuted Believers in Jerusalem.

It was while he was at Corinth that Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write a lengthy letter to the Church in Rome. Paul had not visited Rome yet, but he had heard much about their faith in Jesus Christ and was moved to include them in his prayers without fail. The letter Paul wrote was intended to convey those essential doctrines of the Church which were given to him by God and to encourage the Believers in Rome to Continue the pursuit of Christ in the midst of a world gone crazy.

The Emperor Nero was a madman, Believers in Jesus Christ were being persecuted and they were soon to become enemies of the state.

This is certainly not the first letter Paul had written to a Church congregation, yet it holds first place in the order of the Pauline epistles in the New Testament. The reasons it comes first may be many however none more notable than the fact that the Book of Romans establishes the fundamental doctrines of Jesus Christ for every New Testament Church that followed.

Romans is often called the heart of the Bible and its authorship has never been questioned nor has its intent been in doubt. With that in mind let’s go together to our text for today which is found in the 8th chapter of the Book of Romans.

Remember the title of the message today: The Devil Knows.

The devil knows he could never make God stop loving you, although that hasn’t stopped him from trying. The Bible calls satan, the accuser of the brethren, (Revelation 12:10), who accused them before our God day and night. God will not be deceived by the devil’s tricks. He can’t make God stop doing good things for you.  What the devil is banking on is that he can alter the way you feel about God and/or your willingness to personally participate in God’s plan.

Let’s read a few verses in Romans 8 before we get to the heart of this morning’s message.

Romans 8 NKJV

26 ¶  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

29 ¶  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

31 ¶  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

33  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

34  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

That’s God’s part … and He has done it perfectly and forever. Now …

35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

The devil knows that God will never stop loving us … what the devil does not know is if there is anything he can do to make us stop loving God.

·        Who/What shall keep us from us loving Jesus?

o   Tribulation?

o   Persecution?

o   Famine?

o   Nakedness?

o   Peril?

o   Sword?

·        Any of those things which came to Job or to Joseph or to Peter, James, John, Mary, or Paul?

·        What can stop us or keep us or separate us from loving Jesus? Nothing can stop Him from loving us … Paul is merely asking, what can make you stop loving Him? What would make you quit on God?

36  As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

·        “We” are more than conquerors – this is our part!

·        The challenge is to us … not to God – God is not going to quit on us … the challenge is: Are you going to quit on Him?

·        We have been made more than conquerors …

1 John 4:4  You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

1 John 5

4  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.

5  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

We have been made more than conquerors by Christ who loved us …

Romans 8

38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

·        Not when faced with death and (not gonna quit)

·        And not when faced with a blessed and busy life … (Not quitting)

·        Not from an angelic visitation and not by a miracle demonstration

·        I’m not going to be wooed or woe’d into quitting on Jesus …

·        No current problem and no fear of the future is going to rob me of my victory in Christ …

39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am determined that nothing is ever going to make me stop loving, stop trusting, or stop serving the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Shepherd, and my Friend, Jesus Christ, Son of Jehovah Almighty!

What can you do to gain and maintain your victory in Christ?

1.  Consider and Compare

Romans 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2.  Hope and Persevere

Romans 8:25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

3.  Pray

Romans 10:13  For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Don’t quit on Jesus!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Choices - Part 2 Jabez


Life is built on choices. And, since we are so closely connected with others, our lives are affected not only by the choices we make but also by the choices others make as well … and often those choices are made without our consent.

We don’t always get to choose what we go through, but we always get to choose how we will go through it. Choices … Ultimately, We can only be responsible for the choices we make. And … life can change in an instant, simply by making another choice.

We will talk more about our choices in a moment. First let’s read our opening text for today.

1 Chronicles 2:55  The clans also of the scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

Last Sunday we discovered the Rechabites. They were descendants of Abraham, but they were not Israelites. They came from Abraham’s third family; from one of the sons he had with his wife Keturah. Nonetheless they lived among the Israelites and were granted by Moses to inherit the same covenant blessings as did Israel. 900 years after Moses, God used the house of Rechab in Jeremiah 35 to teach the Children of Israel the importance of making the right choice … specifically the choice to obey your heavenly Father

It is very interesting to find the Rechabites mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:55, right smack dab in the middle of the list of the descendants of Judah. Once again, the Rechabites were not Jews, they were Midianite Kenites of the house of Rechab. And more than that, these Rechabites were recognized as noted scribes in Israel.

Scribes were among the most educated and trusted individuals in the nation. They were schooled and trusted to record, interpret, carry-on, and protect the integrity of correspondence of all types and kinds, including those Biblical scribes who interpreted the Word of God. Scribes were very important people and they occupied highly respected positions in society and worked closely with government and religious leaders.

Jesus often admonished scribes for being hypocritical and expecting others to be perfect when they themselves violated the weightier laws of God. (Jesus “woe’d” them 7 times in Matthew 23 alone) However, during the times of Jeremiah, the Rechabites were a people known for their integrity. 

1 Chronicles 2:55  The clans also of the scribes who lived at Jabez … the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

The word Jabez is a Hebrew word which means pain, sorrow, or grief. The word Jabez is found in only three verses of the Bible. The verse we just read is one of those in which the word Jabez refers to a town, well it was more of a village or a community, which was located near the town of Bethlehem in Judea. It is believed to have been well-known for two things:

1.   Its far-reaching educational impact as far as training scribes

2.   Its founding father, Jabez.

This morning we are going to further discuss the impact of the choices we make in life. Remember: Life is built on choices and: We don’t always get to choose what we go through, but we do get to choose how we will go through it.

Our Bible story for today takes place early during the times of the Judges … perhaps 1375-1350BC. We are not given the circumstances surrounding the events we will read in 1 Chronicles 4, but it must be very important seeing that once again the Holy Spirit interrupted the long genealogy of Judah to insert a nugget of truth for us to find.

1 Chronicles 4 NKJV

9  Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”

·        Children don’t choose into what circumstances they are born.

·        They do choose what they will make of themselves.

The fact that we are given little or no real background as far as the situation leading up to the birth of Jabez has intrigued Bible scholars for 3000 years. Some imagine Jabez was so well-known that it was expected everyone knew his life’s story. Others surmise the mother of Jabez was widowed or perhaps unwed or that she subsequently died as the result of her painful and sorrowful delivery. Still others believe God intended to leave the details out to broaden the application of the truths taught by the successful triumphs of Jabez.

We can’t know any of these things for certain but what we have been told is that his mother named him Jabez, because of the pain associated with his birth. Whether physical, mental, social, or spiritual pain, we are not told. But we do know whatever it was, she named him pain and every time anyone called his name it was a reminder of who he was in the eyes of his mother.

But! That’s not the end of our story.

1 Chronicles 4:10  And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

Jabez called upon the God of Israel!!!

The first thing we all need to do when they find ourselves in the middle of a problem, whether it was by our choice or by the choice of someone else, is to call upon the God of Israel.

Let’s review the prayer of Jabez …

·        Oh that You would bless me indeed

o   It might have been evident to Jabez that he could not depend on anyone else to bless him or even give him a fair chance.

o   However, Jabez knew someone who could reach beyond his circumstances and the situation he was in.

o   Jabez must have believed that even his mother’s choices for his life were subject to God.

o   Jabez continued his prayer

·        And enlarge my territory

o   Make me bigger than I am today

o   Give me greater influence

o   Enlarge my borders …

o   Perhaps barriers and boundaries even Jabez was tempted to believe.

o   Get me out of this hole

o   Take off the limits others have placed on me

o   Help me to do things I haven’t done

·        And that Your hand would be with me

o   Basically – go with me God … stay with me

o   Don’t just bless me and forget me … be with me

·        And that You would keep me from evil

o   Restrain the evil and harm that wants to engulf me

o   Jabez knew God was big enough to manage the evil and harm he would face when he stepped into new territories.

·        So that I may not cause pain

o   The implication is so that he might not cause himself pain and fulfill or live out the implications of his name or the expectations of others.

And the Lord granted his request. So much so that Jabez ended up being more honored than his brothers and it seems a whole community was named after him most likely due to the impact he had on the whole Kingdom of Judah by raising up scribes from the faithful people we know as the Rechabites.

My take-a-ways from this morning are simple. I have choices. I may not can choose what I go through in life, but I can choose how I am going to go through life.

It is my choice to move beyond my past, beyond my pain, and beyond the place others see me.

It all begins with one best choice. The best choice you can make today is to call upon the name of the Lord God of Israel.

Place your past, your present, and your future in His capable hands. Refuse to live in the box. Ask God to bless you, strengthen you, walk with you, enlarge you, keep you from evil, and help you to not cause pain to yourself or others.

Let’s call upon the Lord together right now!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Choices - Part 1



Someone is having trouble obeying the Lord …  someone is struggling with doing what the Word of God commands. You might be struggling with:

·        Gossip, Immorality

·        Money, Unforgiveness

·        Worry, Anger, Hurtful Words, or Difficult Decisions

·        All choices … we make them every day

You know what the Bible says yet you are not following that still small voice of the Holy spirit you hear in your heart. In fact, there is another voice trying to discount the Word of God – it’s like a battle in your mind that you are trying to quiet. You will never be happy disobeying God. Disobedience to God reveals both a lack of trust and a lack of integrity. If anyone else has ever made the tough choice to obey God, then you can do it too. Life is a long game, and you are an important player to God.

A commitment to obey is a simple sign of trust. I remember that old hymn I learned to sing as a young boy while sitting on the back seat of the First Baptist Church in Simms, Texas … “Trust and Obey”. (1887)

4 Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we'll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends, we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way,

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

This morning it is my hope to encourage you to choose God today. We will launch our study of the Word by reading an unfamiliar passage in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah lived in Jerusalem around 600BC, during a difficult time when King Jehoiakim was doing evil in the sight of God and was also in disfavor with both the Kings of Egypt and Babylon. King Jehoiakim even burned one of the books of prophecy written by Jeremiah because he didn’t like what it said. God was not happy …

Jeremiah 35 NKJV

1 ¶  The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying,

2  “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.”

3  Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites,

4  and I brought them into the house of the LORD …, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door.

5  Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine.”

Since few people are familiar with the Rechabites and who they are, allow me to fill in the gaps with a brief walk through a little Bible history. Although the Rechabites lived in peace in the land of Judah and are referenced in the middle of the lineage of Judah, (1 Chronicles 2:55), they were not Israelites. Let’s go back to the days of Abraham.

Around 2000BC – Genesis 25:1-4 & 1 Chronicles 1:32-33

·        When Abraham was a little over 140 years old, he married a woman named Keturah.

·        Abraham and Keturah had several children. They named one of their sons Midian who, in time, became the father of the Midianites.

·        The Midianites lived along the east bank of the Jordan River, across from Jericho, in what is now the country of Jordan.

·        500 years later – we come to the time of Moses.

About 1500BC – Exodus 2:21

·        Moses escaped Egypt at 40 years old and went to Midian to hide from Pharaoh. There he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, who was the priest of Midian. So Moses, who was a descendant of Abraham married Zipporah who was also a descendant of Abraham.

·        Zipporah had a brother named Hobab.

·        Numbers 10:29-32

o   The Bible calls him Hobab the Kenite.

o   Hobab agreed to help Moses navigate the wilderness to  bring the Children of Israel to the Promise Land.

o   Moses promised Hobab that he and his descendants would inherit right along with Israel, and the good God did to Israel, Hobab and his family would also receive the same.

o   And they did … fast forward another 100 years …

In the 1400’s BC – Judges 1:16

·        The descendants of Hobab, called the Kenites, settled in tents in the wilderness of Judah eastwards from Jerusalem and Bethlehem towards the Dead Sea.

o   The Kenites lived in peace with and in support of Israel.

Near 1300BC – Judges 4:11

·        Heber the Kenite, a descendant of Hobab, lived in Judah where he married a woman named Jael.

o   Heber separated himself from the Kenites in Judah and moved about 60 miles north to the Valley of Jezreel near Mt Tabor.

o   Heber made alliances with both the King of the Canaanites named Jabin, as well as the Israelites.

·        Judges 4:21

o   Jael killed King Jabin’s commander, Sisera with her hammer and a tent peg, thereby winning the war for Israel.

o   The Kenites continued to live in peace with and in support of Israel. They lived in tents and didn’t plant vineyards.

Along about 1100BC – 1 Samuel 15:6

·        King Saul was about to make war with the Amalekites but before he attacked them, King Saul told the Kenites to separate themselves from the Amalekites and he spared the Kenites because they had shown kindness to Israel when they came out of Egypt with Moses.

Close to 900BC – 2 Kings 10:15ff

·        Elijah anointed Jehu to destroy the house of Ahab and Jezebel

·        Jehu made a pact with Jonadab the leader of the Kenites.

o   Jonadab was the son of Rechab.

o   Jonadab helped Jehu rid Israel of Baal worship.

·        Jonadab instructed his descendants to do a few things and to keep his commands.

·        Jonadab said that if they would only trust and obey him, they would live a long time in the land where they were strangers.

Fast forward another 300 years and we are back to the Prophet Jeremiah.

About 600BC – Jeremiah 35

·        God told Jeremiah to invite the Rechabites to the House of God in Jerusalem. We just saw that the Rechabites were a family of the Kenites, descended from Midian, who was one of the many sons of Abraham.

·        God told Jeremiah to offer them wine to drink – so he did.

The Rechabites aren’t Jews, so why invite them to the House of God? God has a point He wants to make, and He is going to use them to make it.

Jeremiah 35

5  Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine.”

6  But they said, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever.

7  ‘You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.’

8  “Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters,

9  “nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed.

10  “But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

11  “But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, ‘Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians.’ So we dwell at Jerusalem.”

12 ¶  Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying,

These men were descendants of Abraham. If anyone knew the value of a covenant and the benefit of a commitment to trust and obey, it was them. But it had been 300 years since their father gave them these commands. And this was not the Word of God, it was only the word of their father.

That’s impressive, not only to me, but also to God. Listen to the point God wants to make here.

13  “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?” says the LORD.

14  “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father’s commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me.

15  “I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me.

16  “Surely the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them, but this people has not obeyed Me.”’

17  “Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them but they have not heard, and I have called to them but they have not answered.’ ”

18  And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you,

19  ‘therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.”’ ”

There is someone listening who has been struggling with obeying the Lord … doing what the Word of God says to do. It might have to do with:

·        Gossip, Sex

·        Money, Unforgiveness

·        Worry, Anger, Hurtful Words, or Difficult Decisions

The point God is making in Jeremiah is simply the fact that you know what the Bible says so, if you aren’t doing it, why? Disobedience to God reveals both a lack of trust and a lack of integrity. And it’s not hard to obey God. If there is anyone who can obey God, it’s you … you know Him.

What has the Lord been telling you to do? What does the Bible say about it? God is the one who has been reminding you. You know what the Bible says … You can do it. It might be a hard choice, but it will pay off. The first reward is being right with God and God will take care of you. 

If your obedience or deliverance involves another person, be assured, God is speaking to them too.

Simply trust and obey … The sons of Jonadab obeyed his word for untold generations. Many believe the descendants of Rechab still live in the land of Israel, still dwelling in tents in that same Judean desert, sowing no seeds and planting no vineyards. You can see these people, living in peace and enjoying the land wherein they are yet strangers.

Come with me to Israel some time and I’ll show you these nomadic people still living a simple life in the Judean wilderness just as they have for generations past.

This morning our challenge is to trust God enough to do things His way. You have a choice today. Are going to obey God’s Word? Decide to trust Him and Let Him take care of everyone else. They have a choice too. 

Trust that God knows best and do what He says … you will be blessed, and you will be an example to others who are struggling as well.

Next Sunday, Part 2. We will discover another facet of this story and how we can become victorious in spite of our past, our pain, and our position.