Are there any men whom you look up to and respect? What qualities about other men do you admire? Is it because they have great wealth, talents, or intelligence? Someone I respect immensely is Jeremiah the prophet. I just love reading that book because I see a man for whom God had a mission. Jeremiah was willing to be obedient, no matter what the cost. He was clearly not thrilled about it at times, but he was obedient.
In Jeremiah 27:2-7 the prophet describes the Lord’s instructions: “Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck, And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.”
First, consider how foolish Jeremiah was going to look wearing this yoke around. Can you imagine how his “friends” and neighbors would laugh at him? “There goes that crazy Jeremiah. Ha, ha, ha!” No doubt, he would have looked somewhat strange!
Next, think about Jeremiah sending messages to the king of Judah and neighboring kings. These were not just Christmas cards to his friends. Here is a “nobody” telling kings that they were going to be conquered and that (verses 8-11) they should not resist, but rather serve Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah, Judah’s king, could have been sufficiently angered to have replaced Jeremiah’s head with a basket. Now, not only do his “friends” think he is crazy, but he risks his life by possibly angering many in authority.
So, what does that have to do with Christian fathers of homeschooling children? In Jeremiah 1, we see God told Jeremiah clearly that He had a purpose for him. Jeremiah was to obey and not be fearful. Fathers, do we see ourselves as directed by God to lead our families? Are we fully committed to obeying God’s Word and setting an example for our families, even if it is not popular with them, our friends, or our neighbors? Do we cave in when they begin to apply pressure? Maybe you have a child who wants to be in school with “friends.” Will you be strong and do what is best for the child?
We see in this passage that God uses plain “ole” people like you and me. What is important is that we are obedient to His Word. He has clearly called us to train our children. That involves character, knowledge of the Bible and the Lord Jesus, skills necessary to earn a livelihood, and information about health and government. This is our responsibility, and it is not easily handed off to another. Are we committed to doing what is best for our children versus what everyone else does? It is so easy for us to be consumed with earning a living that we don’t own this responsibility ourselves. May God give us grace to be men of God, dedicated to knowing Him and serving Him, by being the husbands and fathers He intends us to be.