The Faithfulness of the RecabitesDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me.
During the forty years of Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry, the Lord spoke through his prophet in various ways in an effort to communicate his will to the Jewish people. Jeremiah 35 contains an unusual rhetorical strategy, utilizing a Jewish clan known as the Recabites (sometimes spelled “Rechabites”). The Recabites were a nomadic group of craftsmen who traced their ancestry to Jehonadab son of Recab (2 Kings 10:15-23). They followed the instructions of their founder, who taught them to dwell in tents rather than building houses and never to drink wine (35:5-10).
In Jeremiah 35, the prophet invited the Recabites to have a cup of wine, but they refused (35:5). For generations, the descendants of Recab followed the guidance of Jehonadab. Parents passed on to their children the ways of their clan, so that when they were tempted to do what they had chosen to avoid, they were able to stand fast. (This contrasts starkly with the promise-breaking Jews of Jeremiah 34.) The Lord used their faithfulness to their ancestor as a way of highlighting the unfaithfulness of the Jews to God and his law: “The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me” (35:14).
This passage does not mean that we should imitate all things about the Recabites. I don’t think we all need to start camping out in tents! But we can be encouraged by the faithfulness of this ancient clan. We can examine our lives to see if we are living according to our deepest convictions and passing these convictions on to our children.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In what ways would you say that your life imitates the faithfulness of the Recabites? In what ways are you tempted to abandon your convictions? How are you passing on the deep things of life to the next generations?
PRAYER: O Lord, I pray that you will help me to be like the Recabites, so that I might live in a way that honors you all the days of my life. Give me the strength to stand apart from the fallen ways of the world around me. Help me to be faithful to you in all things.
Also, Lord, I ask that you help me to faithfully pass on the faith to the next generations. By my words and deeds, in my relationships and my example, may I help those who are younger than I am to know you and live faithfully according to your Word.
I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.