Rechabites were a Separated People Jeremiah 35


Rechabites were a Separated People Jeremiah 35

Although Jonadab's three commands might have been difficult for most families to follow, such was not the case for the Rechabites. I Chronicles 2:55 states that the Rechabites were descendants of the Kenites through Moses father-in-law (Judges 1 :16) whom we know from Exodus was a keeper of flocks, a dweller in the wilderness. We also know that the Kenites had no fixed residence, wandering from place to place (Judges 1:16; 4:11 and I Samuel 15:6). Jonadab was only strengthening a tradition which had held the family together for years.
Jonadab was aware of the subtle attraction that Baal worship held on the people of Israel. The idolatrous feasts were often nothing more than an excuse for drunkenness and immorality. Having witnessed the destructive results of Baalism during the reign of Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel, Jonadab participated in King Jehu's zealous eradication of Baal from Israel (Il Kings 10). He witnessed Jehu's loss of zeal for the Lord once he exchanged the discipline of army life for the luxuries of the palace (Il Kings 10:31). To protect his children from the temptations of idolatry, Jonadab kept them away from wine, out of the cities and free from this world's goods (Amos 6:4-7).
The Rechabites had been summoned to the temple by a great prophet. Seated before this noted religious leader, the men were instructed by him to violate their forefather's strict command (Jeremiah 35:5). Two hundred years had passed since the command had first been issued. One might think that their adherence to the tradition would have weakened and diminished over this long period of time. One might also think that the Rechabites, awed by the presence of this great man of God, would be swayed to violate or at least consider violating their convictions. At the very least they would be reluctant to offend Jeremiah or cause any embarrassment.
But the Rechabites did not, even for a moment, consider the possibility of compromise. With boldness they proclaimed the message which years of obedience had instilled in their lives. In a Godly manner the men refused the invitation to drink. Because of their message of unwavering obedience, an even greater message was communicated to the nation through Jeremiah (Jeremiah 35:13-17).
Because the Rechabites had no possessions and were free to move about, they were spared from both the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. Unless Jonadab had forbidden his children to build homes, it is likely that they would have settled in Israel rather than Judah because of Jonadab's friendship with King Jehu. Instead, their flexibility enabled them to move south into Judah before the collapse of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. Since they had no possessions, they were later spared from the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. (Il Kings 24:14). The Rechabites had honored their father's commands and while their fellow countrymen were living in slave camps in foreign countries, they lived in freedom and peace in the land of their birth.
I have heard from many Church leaders that Christians need to redeem the society they live in. They need to be involved in government, politics, and every type of business and social institution so that they can make a difference. That’s what a lot of people say today. But let me ask you this: whose example are we to follow? The answer for me is Jesus Christ. Did Jesus involve Himself in the politics of His day? Think of what a difference He could have made if He had entered government. But what do the Scriptures say?
Jesus is more concern about the salvation of mankind then making things better here on earth. Why? 2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,