We continue our sermon, titled above, based on the story of the Rechabites in Jeremiah Chapter 35. Yesterday we identified the characters of the story and God’s commandment to Jeremiah. We begin today with Jeremiah’s obedience to God.
In Verses 3-5 Jeremiah’s obedience to God’s command is told. He locates the whole band of Rechabites in Jerusalem and conducts them to the house of the Lord. Per God’s instruction Jeremiah gathers them in a prophet’s chamber and sets containers filled with wine before them saying “…drink ye wine.” Did Jeremiah expect the Rechabites to consume the wine? I think not as will be seen later.
If Jeremiah had thought the Rechabites would drink the wine he would have been greatly disappointed with their stern refusal. In Verse 6 the Rechabites in solidarity balked at drinking the wine with these words. “We will drink no wine…” What was the reason for their obstinateness? They reported that their father, Jonadab, had commanded them never to drink wine. How admirable, how commendable that they kept their father‘s charge.
The Rechabites continued to inform Jeremiah of their religious codes of conduct in Verses 7-10. In addition to abstaining from wine they were not to build houses and dwell in them. They were not to plant or have a vineyard, nor field, nor seed to plant. The Rechabites roamed the land and lived in tents away from populated centers.
Were the religious codes by which the Rechabites lived given them by God? There is no indication of that in the scripture. It is most likely that Rechab, the founder of the Rechabites, felt impressed to live that way to protest the ungodly world and to be dedicated unto God. He, in exercising a father’s authority, passed the religious code to his family and demanded their obedience.
Surely we know that, like the Rechabites of old, Christians are to be separated from this world and dedicated to serving God. Throughout the New Testament Christians are both instructed and commanded many times in various ways to separate from the world thus making us more godly – more holy. We will not reference them here except to quote one very familiar verse. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing…” II Corinthians 6:17
Tomorrow we will continue this sermon by discussing God’s purpose for this incident with the Rechabites. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU.