Thursday, October 20, 2016
OCTOBER 20 "JEREMIAH THE TRICKSTER"
We know Jeremiah as The Prophet, but we don’t know Jeremiah, as The Trickster! Jeremiah is entering into some under cover work here, for God. Jeremiah is being used by God to try to trick this good folks into drinking some wine. These believers really have something solid working in their lives that we would be wise to envy and want for ourselves and our families. This is my personnel opinion, but who cares about my personnel opinion. What’s even more note worthy, is that this is God’s opinion too! Can you imagine yourself sitting in the presence of the great prophet Jeremiah and he says, “come now, sit and have a cup of wine”. Unless Jeremiah is acting very odd or suspicious, I would think, “this must be okay” after all, Jeremiah is a man of God if there ever was. If Jeremiah says, it’s okay, let’s drink up!! These people, the Recabites have an amazing ability to not allow themselves to be influenced by others, no matter how much clout or status, those people have or in this case, this individual. A wife or husband falls because their spouse falls, congregation members fall because their pastor falls, children stray when their parents become lukewarm or turn against their faith. In each of these situations, someone fell; someone stumbled because of the influence of another. It is tragic when someone falls because someone they looked up to fell or influenced them to stumble. Even Jesus brings this up in the Gospels, “woe unto those that cause one of these little ones to stumble, for it would be better for them if they hung a millstone around their necks….” We should not take lightly being a stumbling block to anybody. And while we must be cautious not to be a stumbling block we must also make sure that we don’t allow anybody, no matter who they are, what reputation they have, to be a stumbling block for us. This is what God praises and commends about the Recabites. God understands the influence and name that Jeremiah has, but yet, even under Jeremiah, these people, respectfully decline. And how does God respond to that? “This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me.The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me. Time after time I sent you prophets, who told you, “Turn from your wicked ways, and start doing things right. Stop worshiping other gods so that you might live in peace here in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you would not listen to me or obey me. God is contrasting how one group is not only not being told by God what to do, obeys, even with the influence of Jeremiah, they don’t compromise; and yet the other group who is constantly being told by God, what to do, still won’t obey? This contrast of Christians still exists today. There are those that will receive endless counsel, direction and words spoken to them over and over again, yet still do not obey and then you have other Christians, that don’t constantly receive words, have had numerous Godly examples in their life fall and disappoint them, yet they go on to obey God, nonetheless. I believe God sees this and applauds them, praises them as much as He did the family of the Recabites. Every one of us has the opportunity to be the Recabites. If you are a parent, you have the opportunity to set this kind of example for your children. A Christian family that is not swayed by public opinion, is not swayed by who’s falling, who’s compromising and who’s not, but that you as a parent would display to your children an obedience and faithfulness to God that is unwavering.