Archive for October 5th, 2013

Jeremiah 35

Jeremiah 35 is a very sobering chapter.  Jeremiah is told by God to invite the Rechabites to come to to the house of the Lord for some wine.  So he does, and brings them to the house of the Lord up into a special place and sets “pitchers full of wine, and cups” in front of them and invites them to drink with him.  But they politely refuse.  They say “we will drink no wine….our father commanded us”.  So they not only don’t participate, they explain very clearly that their father had told them never to drink wine and to live in tents and not sow seeds or plant vineyards.  They were to be free to move about the land.

Here is the punch line.  “We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us”.  I notice words much more than I used to.  I’ve gotten in trouble often making broad sweeping statements.  But look at what they tell the prophet here.  They have obeyed their father in ALL that he commanded them.  Not some, not most, but all.  Jeremiah goes back to God and gets a lesson for us to hear.  It is a lesson about obedience, and these Rechabites are the teacher.

Jeremiah goes to the children of God with this message: “The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me”.  How is it that this family or tribe is obedient, and yet God’s children can’t seem to figure it out?  God goes on to say “I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently….but you did not incline your ear or listen to me”.  God has been consistent in His message and approach, yet His very own do not obey.

The reality is that obedience is a choice.  God says “I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered”.  Disobedience occurs when we choose not to obey God.  The devil didn’t make them do it.  The devil isn’t going to make you disobedient either – you are.  We disobey when we choose not to obey.  It is intentional.  It is personal. It is on us.  God tells Jeremiah that disobedience is going to lead to disaster for His people.  Obedience brings blessing, not necessarily everything we want, but God’s blessing.  It is by far the better choice.

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