Monday, June 4, 2007

Did You Pass the Test?

My younger granddaughter got the highest mark from all the grade three classes in her school for a book report project that was one of their assignments. The detailing in her drawings and her written work was so exceptional that the principal came to her class to see her paper.
I was very proud of her.
It my pleasure to brag about the accomplishments of my granddaughters.

Do you know that it gives God pleasure to brag about His children? That He loves to show us off?
But just as my granddaughter had to work, had to be ‘tested’ before I could brag about her, so we also must be put into a place of testing to reveal what we are made of– to show ourselves worthy of God’s pleasure in showing us off’.

We all know the story of Job, we know the verses that tell us about rejoicing when trials and temptations come our way and we know that “blessed is the man who endures temptations” (James 1:12) but when you face a trial or temptation is your first thought the realization that you are facing an opportunity to please God? To give Him cause to brag about you and made Him proud of you??

There is tucked away in the pages of our bible the story of a family that God took pleasure in and held them up as an example.
We find the account in Jeremiah 35.

The story unfolds as follows…….

One day God told his prophet Jeremiah to go to a family by the name of Rachebites and give them a special invitation to come into the chambers of the house of the Lord. There Jeremiah was to serve them wine.

It was a great honour to receive this personal invitation from God’s highest prophet. I’m sure the family was excited to be singled out in this way and eagerly accepted Jeremiah’s invitation. And to add honour to honour Jeremiah himself would escort them.
So Jaazaniah with all his brothers and his sons and their families were taken to the house of the Lord and seated in one of the chambers.
Then Jeremiah placed a cup before each guest and served bowls of wine , encouraging them to drink and enjoy.

But there was a problem….
I can image the family members all covertly glancing at each other and looking to Jaazaniah for direction…. What were they to do?
They did not want to be rude and treat Jeremiah’s hospitality with contempt but on the other hand…….
Finally, they voiced their dilemma to Jeremiah.

“We cannot, we will not drink wine, for we have for generations obeyed the instruction of our forefather Jonadab son of Rechab, who commanded us not to drink wine nor to build houses to live in but to live in tents….nor to plant vineyards or grain. And we have obeyed him until now.”

Was it sin to drink wine or build houses or plant harvests? No, of course not. But the Rechabites had obeyed a higher commandment….God’s commandment to honour your father and mother.

God spoke to Jeremiah and said,” Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem… that they repeatedly refused to obey My instructions but look at these Rechabites who so faithfully obeyed their eathly father’s commands all these years.”

And God spoke doom and calamity against the people of Judah and Jerusalem but to the Rechabites He prounced blessing, saying, “Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done accourding to all that he commanded you, therefore , thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,’Jonabdab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before me forever!!” (Jer.35:18,19)

Next time you face a trial or temptation, remember the Rechabites, remember that God delights in finding cause to praise you and show you off as an example to others!
Does that not encourage you to get the very best mark you can on your ‘test’ ?


Demara said...

Yes Julie it does encourage me to get the best mark on my test *smile*! God is good even in our trials; we may not think so right away but after, when the trials done, you can see it~ (P.s. I replied you over there at Yokoso.)

Lovella said...

Thanks Julie,

I just saw the note on Cherie's mom in law. Our prayers are with the whole family and especially Cherie and Scott.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Our rabbi ( we studied under a Jewish Christian man for a while) put it like this: While stuff is getting tough, and Satan is licking his chops, God is pointing to His kids and saying "See? See how tough my kid is? You haven't seen nothing yet! My kid is getting stronger by the minute!" And that everytime we think we haven't any more to give, God is pointing us out, saying "Watch that one, what what my strenght will do with his life" I like to think about God bragging on us when things get tough. He's got it it all covered...just wait and see.
Glad your granddaughters are the bookish sort!

Jean E. said...

I wonder what if your parents command you to do something you know is wrong like follow a cult? I had to get out of the cult despite my parents staunch commands for me. I wonder if I failed or passed my test?

Julie said...

Jean, I hope you come back to read this....
You definitely passed the test!!
Yes, God rewards those who obey and respect their parents but there is a higher law - the one that Peter followed, "We ought to obey God rather than men!" Acts 5:29
If what your parents want you to do is contrary to the Word of God -such as following a cult- then you are not bound to obey them.
But you can still show them love and respect in other ways, right?
I'm sure it must have been a difficult decision for you and I will pray for God to strenghten you and use you to glorify Him -- and who knows but that your parents will come to the truth through you!!!
Thank you for your comment, Jean!!