THE PROMISE OF JONADAB
September 3, 2010
A few weeks ago I caught a headline on a major news site titled, “The Next Prayer of Jabez?”
It was an advertisement for the book, "The Promise of Jonadab: Building a Christian Family Legacy in a Time of Cultural Decline," and is written by E. Ray and Gail Pinckney Moore. The Moores have been married for 40 years and are known as pioneers in the homeschooling and Christian education movement. E. Ray Moore is founder of The Exodus Mandate Project.
"The Prayer of Jabez," inspired by 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 and written by Bruce Wilkerson in 2000 sold 9 million copies. The book became an international bestseller, topping the New York Times bestseller list, and it received the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Book of the Year award in 2001. (Wikipedia)
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 reads,
“Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm that it would not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
Millions of well-meaning Christians have prayed “The Prayer of Jabez,” praying to enlarge their borders, and keep themselves from harm, while America continues to decline financially, morally, spiritually, and culturally.
While prayer will be an important component of revival in our nation, father’s turning their hearts to their children will precede any substantive reformation. We can follow Jonadab’s example in our own families in order to preserve our faith through the generations.
Here is the story of Jonadab.
The Greatest Dad in the Bible
Two hundred and fifty years after king Jehu and Jonadab had purged Israel of the prophets of Baal, Judah was steeped in idolatry. Jeremiah sought to demonstrate the nature of Judah’s disobedience to God. In 603 B.C, Jeremiah ordered the descendents of Jonadab into the temple of Jerusalem, and poured wine for them to drink. Jonadab’s descendents declined to drink because of their forefather.
Two and a half centuries previously a man named Jonadab had led his family and instructed them to never drink wine, build houses, sow seeds or plant vineyards. He wanted his family to be sober, to be mobile and be able to flee the destruction and invasion of foreign armies when Israel fell. Jeremiah intended the obedience of Jonadab’s descendents to their earthly father’s instruction not to drink wine, to be a rebuke to the people of Judah for their disobedience to God, their living Heavenly Father.
Jonadab’s family survived the Assyrian captivity, and escaped to Judah. His family was able to survive and even thrive amid the idolatry of Judah by adhering to their ancestral father’s rules. Jeremiah announced a benediction of well done upon Jonadab’s powerful example of fatherhood.
“Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before me forever.”
Preserving the Faith of our Fathers
Today, we find ourselves in times not unlike the times Jonadab lived.
In the Apr. 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Niall Ferguson, a leading academic historian stated, “Imperial collapse may come more suddenly that historians imagine. A combination of fiscal deficits and military overstretch suggests that the United States may be the next empire on the precipice.”
George Mason of Virginia explained how God deals with the sins of nations, “As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of cause and effects providence punishes national sins by national calamities,”
The Moores list modern examples of Christian markers (lifestyle choices) that have a scriptural basis and can help preserve your family’s spiritual legacy.
Avoidance of debt
• Detachment from non-Christian society, but constructive engagement with society
• Jobs/careers that enhance the family and build the kingdom of God
• Avoiding the corruptions of big-city life
• Abstinence from alcohol or careful moderation
Other markers could include home schooling or private Christian education, having daily family worship, family meals without television, or studying through the Scriptures together as a family.
We can structure our families in order to persevere in the tough times ahead.
Develop your own family markers.
Heed the words of this poem written by Gail Pinckney Moore
their father had taught them not just how to dine
But to read in their times any dangers to dread.
So they lived in their tents and eschewed even wine.
They remained set apart, and Jerus’lem they fled.
He had taught them the prophets’ sure word to receive,
To prepare for destruction, to be on alert.
When such prophets they heard, then these sons did believe;
They were ready, so did they God’s judgement divert." -Gail Pinckney Moore
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May we become faithful fathers like Jonadab and not lack a man to stand before God forever.
"The Promise of Jonadab: Building a Christian Family Legacy in a Time of Cultural Decline," by E. Ray and Gail Pinckney Moore is available here, or through Amazon.
� 2010 Nicholas Jackson - All Rights Reserved