Jeremiah 35:8-10..Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; Nor to build houses for us to dwell in; neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed; But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
The Bible is very rich with different stories that have occurred even within the people of God that could serve as a lesson to us today. The Bible is written for our learning so that we would not fall into the trap of the enemy, and also so that we will be able to enjoy life to the maximum and still make heaven. The story in Jeremiah 35 was told to reveal one family in the land of Israel that were obedient to their father’s commandments up till the third generation when this event happened. God himself was amazed that the law that a father laid down for his children was kept up till the time of Jeremiah, whereas the children of Israel were disobedient to all the laws that God laid down for them. He sent prophets to warn them to return from their evil ways and yet they did not respond. Instead they killed some of God’s servants and treated many of them harshly. Here is how this story goes. “The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD says “Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. Then I took Jaazaniah and his brethren, 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…And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine; for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us , saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever. Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any, but all your days ye shall dwell in tents, that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers. Thus have we obeyed…” (Jeremiah 35: 1-10).
This story goes to show that the Rechabites had the fear of God in them. Their father commanded them not to do some things, they honored their father and even when the father died they still kept the charge, and they were not ready to disobey their father even when the prophet of God told them to do so. God had been watching this family from generation to another one and could testify to their faithfulness to their father’s charge. He knew they were not going to disobey because the waywardness of the other families had not influenced them to change their way of life so far, so nothing can make them change now, even when a man of God told them to do so. This family were totally and genuinely committed to God because they obeyed their father’s commandment, and they had taken life at a face value, there was nothing worth holding unto because they were strangers here and would leave it one day. I can tell you that this family is an enviable one that knows how not to put their treasures on this earth, but enjoy what God has given unto them with no worries of building houses, maintaining them, but just living in tents, and also buying food instead of sowing seeds, and worrying about their growth. What many of us worry about are the things that their father encouraged them to desist from. Worrying about many of the worldly stuff have made us to be weary, dishonest, greedy of gain, covetous and malicious in the process. Wanting to acquire many of this have shortened many lives, or make them to be bed-ridden because of sickness. Drinking of wine have caused a lot of havoc to many lives, ending it abruptly. Jonadab desired good life for his children and having lived and obeyed God himself, he commanded them to stay away from all these materials so that they may live long on the land God has given to them. If they can obey their father, I can bet that they were very obedient to the commandments of God. Their story is unique and no other family was reported in the Bible to have such an obedient heart toward their father’s commandment. Imagine their total refusal to drink wine given to them by Jeremiah. Who else can influence them to do otherwise? No one. Their mind was made up to abide by the laid down commandment of their father. God was pleased with them and poured more blessings upon them.
Why is the world in the situation it is today? Is it not because the people of the world are not listening and carrying out all the commandments of God? The Bible says “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ” (Matthew 7:13-14). It is not easy for many people to take their eyes off good things of life especially when many are enjoying it. But the fact of life is that many people are disobedient to God and have forgotten that we are sojourners in this world and that heaven is our home, and one day we are going back to where we came from. All the labor and the toiling will end one day whether we like it or not. That is why God told us “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25). The Rechabites are among the few that found the narrow gate that leads to life. They were obedient to God all the days of their life while the majority of the children of Israel were dying everyday for disobedience. Let us be like the Rechabites who did not compromise with the majority that were entering the broad gate. Let’s stand out and let our feet be placed on the path that leads to the narrow gate that will eventually lead us to our heavenly home in Jesus name. Amen..
Prayer….Lord keep us on the path that will lead us home by obeying your commandments all the days of life in Jesus Name.Amen.