Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD. 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, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.
God had found a faithful family in Judah. The descendants of Rechab had lived lives of obedience. For many years they had done what their father commanded them to do. Their obedience brought a reward, but it also proved that men could be obedient. It was their choice, and they did it willingly. And they were able to stick to the commands of their father faithfully even in the midst of an unfaithful people.
God uses them as an example and as an admonishment to His people who refused to obey Him. Disobedience was the choice of His children. They had the ability to make different choices—to hear the prophets God sent, to obey His commands, to honor Him by responding to Him in a right way. God had given instruction. He had spoken very clearly. They knew what they were supposed to do. But they continually stopped their ears, disregarded His Word, and actively rebelled against Him. They disappointed the Father who only wanted what was best for them.
The truth is, we are not driven uncontrollably by the desires of our flesh or the sin in us. Even if the propensity for sin is there, we have the power to make the right choice. We have the ability to do what was commanded. Obedience to our Father is a choice that comes from a desire to honor the one who gave the command. It comes from love and trust in our heavenly Father who knows what is best for us and how we can be blessed if we do what He says to do.
May we simply be willing to choose to obey. It’s not impossible. We have many examples in Scripture of people who made choices to do the right thing even as everyone around them chose the wrong thing. There are many who were willing to choose God’s way even if it made them unpopular or brought some hardship upon them. And, of course, Jesus is our ultimate example of an obedient Son who chose to obey His Father’s will for Him. We’re not doomed to fall into a life of disobedience, but may we trust God and commit to follow His commands for our lives.