faithfulness is possible
Jeremiah 35:1-19 (JDV)
Jeremiah 35:1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from Yahveh in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah. This is what it said:
Jeremiah 35:2 “Go to the house of the Rechabites and speak to them, and bring them to the temple of Yahveh – to one of the halls to pass them a drink of wine.”
Jeremiah 35:3 So I took Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons– the entire house of the Rechabites –
Jeremiah 35:4 and I brought them into the temple of Yahveh to a chamber occupied by the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God, who had a chamber near the officials’ chamber, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper.
Jeremiah 35:5 I set jars filled with wine and some cups before the sons of the house of the Rechabites and said to them, “Drink wine!”
Jeremiah 35:6 But they replied, “We do not drink wine, because Jonadab, son of our ancestor Rechab, commanded: ‘You and your sons must not drink wine permanently.
Jeremiah 35:7 You must not build a house or sow seed or plant a vineyard. Those things are not for you. Rather, you must live in tents your whole life, so you may live a long time on the soil where you stay as a resident alien.’
Jeremiah 35:8 We have obeyed Jonadab, son of our ancestor Rechab, in all he commanded us. So we haven’t drunk wine our whole life – we, our wives, our sons, and our daughters.
Jeremiah 35:9 We also have not built houses to live in and do not have vineyard, field, or seed.
Jeremiah 35:10 But we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us.
Jeremiah 35:11 However, when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched into the land, we said, ‘Come, let’s go into Jerusalem to get away from the Chaldean and Aramean armies.’ So we have been living in Jerusalem.”
Jeremiah 35:12 Then the word of Yahveh came to Jeremiah; this is what it said:
Jeremiah 35:13 “This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go, say to the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem, ‘Will you not accept discipline by listening to my words? – this is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 35:14 The words of Jonadab, son of Rechab, have been carried out. He commanded his descendants not to drink wine, and they have not drunk to this day because they have obeyed their ancestor’s command. But I have spoken to you time and time again, and you have not obeyed me!
Jeremiah 35:15 Time and time again I have sent you all my servants the prophets, saying, “Turn, each one from his evil way, and correct your actions. Stop following other gods to serve them. Live in the land that I gave you and your fathers.” But you did not pay attention or obey me.
Jeremiah 35:16 Yes, the sons of Jonadab son of Rechab carried out their ancestor’s command he gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.
Jeremiah 35:17 Therefore, this is what Yahveh, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will certainly bring on Judah and on all the residents of Jerusalem all the disaster I have pronounced against them because I have spoken to them, but they have not obeyed, and I have called to them, but they did not answer.'”
Jeremiah 35:18 But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, “This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you have obeyed the command of your ancestor Jonadab and have kept all his commands and have done everything he commanded you,
Jeremiah 35:19 this is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Jonadab son of Rechab will never fail to have a man to stand before me all the days.'”
faithfulness is possible
Jeremiah knew that one did not offer a Rechabite wine. They had vowed never to take it. But the LORD told Jeremiah to invite Rechabites into a temple chamber and offer them wine. Of course, they refused. The LORD told Jeremiah to make the offer to show him that it is possible for people in Jerusalem to live faithful to their commitments. Jeremiah commended the Rechabites for this, but condemned the people of Jerusalem for their unfaithfulness.
LORD, make us people who swim against the current. Make us as faithful to you as the Rechabites were to their fathers’ oath.