“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites, and I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door. Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine.” But they said, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever. You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.’ Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed. But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.”
Jeremiah 35:1, 3-10 NKJV
““The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father’s commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me. I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me.”
Jeremiah 35:14-15 NKJV
Back in Jeremiah this morning, poring through chapter 35, when I happened on the story of the Rechabites. They had been instructed by their father to not drink wine, to dwell in tents, and live a nomadic life. They obeyed from the moment they were commanded until that moment they were tested, being offered wine by one in authority as a profit of the Lord. They stood firm.
Their obedience was observed in Heaven, as the Lord instructed Jeremiah to meet with them, by way of example. As I read the passage I thought of that moment when sin and corruption entered the world, when Eve was deceived and Adam followed his wife, eating from the forbidden tree.
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.””
Genesis 2:15-17 NKJV
Adam had received instruction from the Lord, and he knew what was expected. Yet he stood and watched as the woman given to him, was deceived by the serpent and ate. He then followed. That was the beginning of disobedience, the fall from grace and the beginning of woes, as death entered the world.
The children of Israel and Judah had gone astray and were in disobedience, even as God sent His prophets and messengers to remind them of what was expected. Even to the point that He sent warnings, they still did not obey. Consequences came to them, as the penalty for their disobedience came pass.
As I read and meditated on the passage, I saw all the applications for the New Testament believer. I thought of my own disobedience to the Lord. I thought of all the times I knew what was right, but chose to do what I desired. I seldom reflected on the disconnect between my being a “man of faith”, and what I was doing, nor did I consider the impact my actions had on my witness.
As followers of Jesus, we have a great advantages, if we are born again. Those of us who have been converted, have the presence of God in us, as the Holy Spirit guides and convicts us unto holiness. But, more often than not, we choose to not obey.
We have no excuse.
We know from the the word of God, that we have all the tools we need to be obedient, granted to us upon salvation. We have no excuse, but we do have free will. It is choices that bring us to disobedience.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
II Peter 1:2-4 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us be like the Rechabites, and obey our Father in Heaven. We know that disobedience brings nothing of lasting good, but can bring a lifetime of misery. I know my life has been on spent getting caught up, recovering lost time and opportunities lost to sin.
We are partakers of the divine nature, having the power to refuse sin and all the destruction that comes with it. Obedience brings access to all the “great and precious promises”, and the confidence that we can approach the throne of God. We will need that confidence in the coming times.
My choices were made from my will, as I had power from upon high to go another way. Let us tap into the power of God and choose to glorify the Lord, rather than glorify ourselves, thus feeding our appetites.
We are called to be on mission, taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
The Rechabites were honored for their obedience to their earthly father, as the Lord guaranteed their presence before Him forever more. We who are the saved will see them in Heaven.
“And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.” ’ ””
Jeremiah 35:18-19 NKJV
Have a Fabulous Friday!