In Jeremiah 35:19, we see one of the most extraordinary promises given to a father and his family in the entire Bible. It is this text and promise that has earned Jehonadab his title of “the greatest dad in the Bible.” The text says that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah and rewarded the faithfulness and obedience of Jehonadab and his descendants, saying, Jehonadab, the son of Rechab, shall not lack a man to stand before me forever.” The new Contemporary English version says, “So I promise that your clan will be my servants and will never die out.” This must mean that the descendants of Jehonadab still survive and serve the Lord somewhere in our world today. Can God preserve a family like this for such a long time? Does God bless and honor Jehonadab’s type of faith and obedience today? A little known but classic example may be seen in the life of the Christian family leader, Dr. James Dobson. His granddad, a godly pastor, carried an unusually strong burden for his earthy family and spent weeks in prayer and fasting for them. When he emerged from this time with God, he announced that God had promised him that every one of his children and grandchildren would faithfully serve the Lord in full-time Christian work. He said that God had promised this to him. Among his own children, this proved to be true. Everyone became a pastor or missionary or married a pastor or missionary. And so it was with the dozen grandchildren of the third generation, all except one–James Dobson. James did not feel led into full-time Christian work, nor did he want to become an ordained minister. He wanted only to be a child psychologist and write books on the family, but he, too, has not been able to escape from the faith and obedience of his godly grandfather. It is not a remarkable blessing how God has used this dedicated Christian layman to minister to all the families of America and the world?
When Dr. Dobson’s grandfather had a burden for his own earthly family, God turned his concern into a blessing for many other families. “Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think to him be the glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21.