Often times while reading my Bible I come upon people in the pages that God put there for me (not only for me but for you as well) to come across. I always compare these people and their walks to my own. Without judgement of course. I compare them to see how I am doing; the bad or lawless people and the people that show some righteousness.
I never sit here saying to myself well I am better than this group or that group; instead I examine myself to see what things I have in common with them. Afterall, in 2 Corinthians 13 Paul tells us to,”Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.(v5.).”
So God has directed me to the book of Jeremiah. While reading this book I am saying to myself,” Wow there are aspects of my life that match the people of Judah.” However I would also like to think that if you soberly examine your walk that this might be true for you as well.
In chapter 35 we encounter two groups of people, the tribe of Judah and the Rechabites
Some of the sins that the people of Judah were committing are: idol worship (but not just like; Hey, I am on team Molech or team Baal but they would sacrifice their own children to these idols), the murdering of the prophets of Yahwah, lying, not honoring their parents, and the list goes on and on. They have broken all 10 of the commandments. Wow I have been there! If you were honest so have you.
James says,”For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.(James 2:10-11)
How many of us hate someone in their lives? Well Jesus says that is murder (Matt 5:22) . How many of us have looked at someone of the opposite sex and said wow that is really nice? Again according to Jesus that is adultery (Matt 5:28). All of us in one way or another have something in common with Judah.
GOD decided that he is going to test the Rechabites by having them come into the one of the chambers of the temple of the LORD and to have them drink wine.
Two things here: God is always testing us and this piece of scripture is not condemning the drinking of alcohol but is rather about obedience.
I love their response to Jeremiah. “We will drink no wine, for Jehonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, ‘You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. We have obeyed the voice of Jehonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters,(Jeremiah 35:6, 8).
In these verses here we also see that Jehonadab commanded them to live in tents, not to own land or to not build houses for themselves. He also commanded them not to own seed, to plant it or to own vineyards. And at the end of it he quoted God from Exodus 20:12 by saying if you do these thing it will go well with you in the land that you are sojourning.
This group of people had two really excellent (at least in my opinion) men of God that were of their lineage. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law and Elijah the Tishbite.
I remember the first time I read James 5:17 which states,” Elijah was a human being just like us. He prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years! (NCV) And of course I was like I am nothing like Elijah. He is so perfect and I am so flawed. God used him in such mighty ways because of his obedience.
Now when I try to compare myself to people like this I fall short. But it gives me something to yearn for. Something that I know the Holy Spirit is going to complete in me one day.
In the end of this chapter Judah gets carried away by Nebuchadnezzar and God awards the Rechabites by saying, “Because you have obeyed the command of Jehonadab, your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jehonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.” (v35:19)
Wow! I would love to have God say this to me if I were so faithful. How about you? I love how God uses His word to convict me of my short comings.
Oh Abba Father, please continue to use your Word to convict me of my sins. Please use your magnificent awesome power to change me. LORD, please create in me a new heart and a steadfast spirit for you. In Jesus’ name Amen.