Today we will acquaint ourselves with the particulars of this most interesting story of separation found in Jeremiah Chapter 35. You may want to have your Bible open to this text if you can.
JEHOIAKIM: He was the King of Judah around 600 B.C. Jehoiakim was an ungodly king who had been placed in power by Pharaoh Neco of Egypt whom he served more than Israel’s God. Israel was hopelessly estranged from their God. They did not hear nor obey Him.
JEREMIAH: We read in Jeremiah 1:5 that God called him to be a prophet before he was conceived in the womb. Jeremiah surely was one of God’s great prophets and the author of this renown O.T. prophetic book. Jeremiah had the dubious task of preaching of the coming destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the captivity of Israel in Babylon. Jeremiah himself was taken captive and spent the predicted seventy years in Babylon.
THE RECHABITES: This was a small but zealous religious group who were dedicated and separated unto God. A godly man named Rechab had begun the religious sect a number of years earlier. The Rechabites were nomadic and refused to live the customary lifestyle. One writer described them as “ultra conservatives.” God loves this kind of believer!
JONADAB: He was a son of Rechab the founding father of the Rechabites. Jonadab carried on in the tradition of his father by demanding strict adherence to the Rechabite tradition. Jonadab had acquired for himself fame and respect by assisting King Jehu to destroy wicked King Ahab and his family. See II Kings Chapter 10
THE PLOT: God would use the Rechabites to rebuke a godless Israel.
God speaks to Jeremiah in 35:1-2. God commands Jeremiah to go and fetch the Rechabites and bring them into the House of the Lord and give them wine to drink. It sounds like God was enticing the Recabites to get drunk. Could that be so? No. We will understand this better a little later.
We learn in Jeremiah 35:11 that the Rechabites were dwelling in Jerusalem. They had come there for safety from the invasion of the land by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The irony of this is Jerusalem was not a safe place. Jerusalem would soon be besieged and destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar.
This story of the separated Rechabites will continue tomorrow. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU.