“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
Not much is known about the Rechabites. Judges 1:16 tells of the Kenites who came from Jericho and lived in the wilderness. These were descendents of Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro. 1 Chronicles 2:55 tells us that these are the ancestors of the Rechabites. They were Nomads and lived a simple life outside of the hustle and bustle of city life. One commentator writes, “in modern terms they were something of a combination of back to nature hippies and zealously pure in their traditions Amish.”
God had Jeremiah bring the Rechabites in a public display before everyone. In this chapter we read of the lifestyle that they led and one of the key commands was to never drink wine. This was a command given by their father Jonadab. It was a central part of their way of life and they took it seriously. Jeremiah was to offer them wine to drink and when he did, he never said, “God said to offer you wine and you must drink.” He simply presented it to them. There was a lot of pressure with Jeremiah the prophet and everyone else looking on but, they stood their ground and stayed obedient.
This was not a lesson in drinking, if it was okay or not. This was a lesson of obedience and it was done in front of the nation of Judah as an example. The Rechabites were obedient to a man that gave them good advice on how to live but God’s own people would not even be obedient to the God who gave them life. In the end, God rewards the obedience of the Rechabites and brings punishment to the Nation of Israel.
God desires our obedience (1 Samuel 15:22). The Bible tells us, as Christ followers, we will have trials and tribulations. We will have very tough times. When those in leadership over our nation falsely call you bigot, narrow minded or even racist because of your belief in Jesus, what will you do? When the pressure is on and it seems like the world is watching, will you crumble under the weight or will you be like the Rechabites and stand your ground?
“Those who do speak up on the side of truth will pay a price for their boldness but the results will be worth it!” – A.W. Tozer