In The Word
Read: Jeremiah 35
The Rechabites’ Obedience
35 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, 2 “Go to the house of the Rechabites and speak to them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.” 3 So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons, and all the household of the Rechabites, 4 and I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was next to the chamber of the officials, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the doorkeeper. 5 Then I set before the men of the house of the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine!”6 But they said, “We will not drink wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall not drink wine, you or your sons, forever. 7 You shall not build a house, and you shall not sow seed nor plant a vineyard, nor own one; but you shall live in tents all your days, so that you may live many days in the land where you live as strangers.’ 8 And we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, not to drink wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, 9 nor to build ourselves houses to live in; and we do not have a vineyard, a field, or seed. 10 But we have lived only in tents, and have obeyed and have done according to all that our father Jonadab commanded us. 11 However, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, ‘Come, and let’s go to Jerusalem away from the army of the Chaldeans and the army of the Arameans.’ So we have lived in Jerusalem.”
12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying,13 “This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not accept instruction by listening to My words?” declares the Lord. 14 “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab have been followed, which he commanded his sons: not to drink wine. And they do not drink wine to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not listened to Me. 15 Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every person from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not follow other gods to worship them. Then you will live in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me. 16 Indeed, the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have followed the command of their father which he commanded them, but this people has not listened to Me.’”’ 17 Therefore this is what the Lord says, the God of armies, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them; because I spoke to them but they did not listen, and I have called them but they did not answer.’”
18 Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands, and done according to all that he commanded you, 19 therefore this is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: “Jonadab the son of Rechab will not lack a man to stand before Me always.”’”
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
God had Jeremiah gather the sons of Rekab and offer them wine, but they refused to drink. Nearly 200 years earlier, their ancestor had instructed his descendants not to drink wine. God used the sons’ faithful obedience to their fathers as an illustration to help the people see their continual disobedience to Him. He states, “They have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me.” If a family tradition was observed with such devotion, why was God’s Law treated with such disrespect? God had repeatedly warned the people through prophets to obey His commands, but they ignored the prophets. For the people’s disobedience, God would bring disaster upon them. Conversely, God would reward the obedience of Rekab’s sons.
Through this account, we can learn two important lessons. First, people are often faithful to a tradition, custom, or routine, such as watching a certain TV show, doing a particular activity, or attending a family event. Yet these have no eternal significance. Above all else, we should be faithful to the things that matter to God: building a relationship with Him and obeying His commands.
Second, God may repeatedly tell us to do something, but we refuse to listen and obey. Has God been speaking to you through His Word, a pastor, your spouse, or another person? Have you resisted because His command is challenging? Today, choose to hear His voice and follow His command.