As we all know, there is always a price to pay and an outstanding reward to receive for total obedience. There is something to give up in other to acquire a more excellent reward.
In Jeremiah 35, Almighty God instructed Prophet Jeremiah to invite The Rechabites into one of the chambers in the house of The Lord, to drink wine as a test, contrary to the instruction, they received from their father.
He certainly knew they would pass the test but He needed the rest of His people, Israel to know the importance of obeying Him.
Interestingly, The Rechabites did not have the privilege of hearing directly from God Himself but they still humbly obeyed God by totally submitting to their father, Jonadab who passed on that legacy to them.
Not only were they not to drink wine forever, they were not to build a house, sow a seed, plant a vineyard but dwell in tents. What a tough order!
Jeremiah 35:6-7 NKJV
“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.’”
In today’s world, it is like denying them the real essence of life (wine for festivity or merriment, landed property – a sign of financial accomplishment, not owning their farm, like not having a source of income to meet their daily need).
1. So why did they not change the narrative somewhere along the line?
2. Why follow through?
3. Why obey such a tough order that did not come to them directly from God?
4. Why pass the baton from generation to generation?
5. Why deny themselves of the basis amenities of life, so to speak?
6. How comfortable were their lives?
These questions flooded my heart as I sought divine answers!
Answers and Lessons to learn from The Rechabites.
1. Jonadab must have been a God-fearing father who led an exemplary life and his entire family saw the results of his faith through his works. He must have commanded his household to serve God like Abraham did, teaching them regularly to follow God.
2. The Rechabites understood the importance of obeying God through their father’s instruction. They knew God could speak through any vessel, He has prepared for Himself. He did not have to speak mouth to mouth with them before they obeyed. (Therefore, we also must obey His ministers.)
3. They did not prioritize earthly possessions or accomplishments above God, His Word and promises.
4. They did not destroy the ancient landmarks or trade their values for untested or unproven new revelations because it might just be a test from God, after all! (Although, they recognized and respected Prophet Jeremiah as a Genuine Servant of God, they were very adamant about not compromising their values on the platter of a “Thus saith The Lord”, they were unsure of.
5. They had a formidable and very strong bond with God. They knew God would never contradict Himself. If He had to change anything, He would inform them first, then confirm it through one or more witness(es).
6. They were rewarded with never lacking a man to stand before God in holy priesthood, the closest realm of intimacy with Him.
7. Their integrity is celebrated till date, not just in Israel but in Christendom.
God’s primary objective was not to cause them sin against Him through the counter instruction, but to validate and show them off as His Trophies to all Israel. He had so much confidence in them that they would pass the great test and so they did, in flying colours!
Friends, you and I must boldly stand with and stand for whatever instructions God has passed down to us through our founding fathers in faith, we must not remove the ancient landmarks in our generation, rather we must pass the baton to the next generation.
When we are unsure of His move or word, we should prove all things and hold fast to what is true. God is always be there to guide us, He will never allow us go wrong!!