Have you ever heard of the greatest dad in the Bible (not including our Heavenly Father)? Well, I think we can guess it isn’t Solomon. It isn’t David. Actually all Israel’s and Judah’s kings are out of contention, because even the good ones neglected to pass on the faith.
Husband and wife authors, Ray and Gail Moore, and founders of Exodus Mandate focus on one fairly obscure character in the Bible – Jonadab. In Jeremiah 35:18-19 we see:
But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me,” (ESV).
What was it about Jonadab that he was promised a godly legacy and that his faith would be passed from one generation to the next? That is exactly what the Moores explore in their book, The Promise of Jonadab: Building a Christian Family Legacy in a Time of Cultural Decline (2010, Ambassador International). We are facing a cultural decline in the United States. We see evidence of it everywhere, from Wall Street to our schools. How does one build this legacy? I shudder to think what my children will go through when they are parents themselves.
But Jonadab represents hope, as the Moores put it that Jonadab “as a godly father represents a type of Everyman and gives hope to Christians who feel insignificant in God’s Kingdom,” (pg. 26). What is remarkable about Jonadab is that he wasn’t really remarkable, by worldly standards. He didn’t stand out. He wasn’t royalty. He didn’t start a revolution, and he didn’t even come from a good lineage as his father Rachab was executed by King David. We don’t even know what kind of occupation he held, but in the book of Jeremiah 250 years later we learn of his impact through the promise given.
Jonadab found a way to build a godly family legacy even in the time of cultural decline for the nation of Israel by being faithful, believing in God’s word, having a zeal for God’s holiness, ordering his family around the Word, having a helpmate and by setting standards that would preserve his family. Looking at his life, Ray and Gail Moore, point to principles found in Jonadab’s life that can help Christian families, and in particular, fathers, to begin to build a godly legacy of their own. Our job as parents is to be faithful, it is God’s role to be fruitful (for only He can keep the promise). For some this book will serve as an affirmation of things they are already doing well, for others it will gently rebuke, but all should be encouraged to make sure we as parents make passing our faith to our children our top priority.
I highly recommend this short (only 151 pages) and insightful book. Father’s Day is coming up and this would make a terrific gift. You can order a copy on Amazon (hard copy or Kindle) or directly from the publisher.