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CHAPTER 35 Aug. 14 
Jeremiah Meets with the Rechabites
The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, 2Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak to them, and bring them into the house of Yahweh, into one of the rooms, and give them wine to drink. 3Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers, all his sons and the whole family of the Rechabites; 4and I brought them into the house of Yahweh, into the room of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was by the room of the princes, which was above the room of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the threshold. 5I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine and cups; and I said to them, Drink wine! 6But they said, We will drink no wine; for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us saying, You shall drink no wine, neither you, nor your sons, forever: 7neither shall you build house, nor sow seed, nor plant a vineyard nor own one; but all your days you shall dwell in tents; that you may live many days in the land in which you live. 8We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters; 9nor to build houses for us to dwell in; neither do we have vineyard, nor field, nor seed: 10but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11But it happened, when Nebuchadnezzar 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.
A Lesson Learned from the Rechabites
12Then came the word of Yahweh to Jeremiah saying, 13Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Go, and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction to listen to My words? says Yahweh. 14The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab that he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; and to this day they drink none, for they obey their father’s commandment: but I have spoken to you, rising up early and speaking; and you have not listened to Me. 15I have sent also to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and don’t go after other gods to serve them, and you shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but you have not inclined your ear, nor listened to Me. 16Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father which he commanded them, but this people has not listened to Me; 17therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Armies, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them, but they have not heard; and I have called to them, but they have not answered. 18Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according to all that he commanded you; 19therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me forever.


35:14 Jonadab’s requirements of his descendants were unreasonable. There was nothing wrong in drinking wine nor in owning vineyards or living in a house. Indeed, all these three things are listed amongst the blessings which God would give Israel in Canaan (Dt. 6:11; 8:12; Ps. 104:15). But the point is that if other people can show such careful obedience to human commands, even if they are unnecessary and increasingly irrelevant- how much more should we be obedient to God’s word. All around us are great examples of single minded dedication of life- to wrong principles. Self-sacrificial humanitarian atheists are ever before us with their good deeds. Men give their lives to and for what they believe and for political leaders- even though those beliefs are faulty and the leaders have feet of clay. How much more committed should we be... faced as we are with the ultimate truths of God and His Son. If they can do it- why can’t we, and why can’t we do even more than them? We can also reflect that Jonadab asked his descendants to not indulge in the legitimate blessings which God had given (houses, wine and vineyards). There are different levels in spiritual life; we can grab what blessings God gives us and run with them; or we can forego them, give them to others, use them for Him, refuse them simply to exercise the spiritual muscles of our self-control.