Jeremiah 35

The obedience of many unsaved people to the moral laws laid down by wise men of the world should put to shame many professing Christians who are disobedient to an infinite God and utterly forget His

1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,

2 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.

3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;

4 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, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:

5 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.

6 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:

7 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.

8 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;

9 Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:

10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

11 But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.

12 ¶ Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.

14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.

15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.

16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:

17 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

18 ¶ And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:

19 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

Jeremiah 35 – ​A Lesson from the Rechabites

   Among the refugees from the neighboring country who sought asylum within the walls of Jerusalem, was a group of Arabs, known as Rechabites. Probably they encamped in one of the open spaces. They clung tenaciously to the regulations promulgated by Jonadab some three hundred years before. See Judges 1:16; II Kings 10:15; I Chronicles 2:55. They drank no wine, did not cultivate the ground, and lived in tents. We do well not to touch alcohol; not to strike our roots two deeply into this world, where we are pilgrims and strangers; and to cultivate the pilgrim spirit, which looks for and travels toward the city that hath foundations. Israel had not been as true to the divine precepts as the Rechabites to those of their founder. Therefore the Chosen People would be dispossessed and scattered; while the Rechabites have preserved their independence to the present day. Obedience is the only source of permanence. “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:17). —Through the Bible Day by Day

Jeremiah 35:19—Jonadab, the son of Rechab, shall not want a man to stand before Me for ever.

​   The point here is the contrast between the strict obedience of the Rechabites to the directions of their ancestors, and the disobedience of Israel to Jehovah. How often is this contrast repeated still! We find men so eager and devoted to the customs and traditions of their families, and so regardless of the yet higher claims of God. It is very wonderful! We should have thought that the temper of mind which bound men to their family traditions would have secured their allegiance to the Almighty. But it is not so, as daily experience proves.
   Let us also notice the obvious inference from this chapter. If, because of their obedience to the regulations of Jonadab, the Rechabites should never want a man to stand before God, how much more will obedience to the promptings of God’s Spirit secure, through his mercy, a perpetual standing before his face; not only of ourselves, but of our children. Christian parents, you have a perfect right to go to God with this fair deduction from his own words, and say: Give us grace to obey thy commandments, and keep all thy precepts; and do according to all that Thou commandest; and then grant to us to stand before Thee for evermore in thy presence-chamber; and not us only, but our children and children’s children. Let them be a godly seed on earth, ever maintaining sweet recollections of our character and life; and let us be a united family in the presence of thy glory with exceeding joy. How blessed that man is who, like Elijah, stands before God!

       “Jesus protects: my fears, be gone!
          What can the Rock of Ages move?
       Safe in thy arms I lay me down,
          Thy everlasting arms of love.” —Our Daily Homily