The Faithful Recabites (Day 55)

Read Jeremiah 35:1-19
   The Recabites’ code of conduct resembled that of the Nazarites, who took a special vow of dedication to God (Numbers 6). For 200 years they had obeyed their ancestor’s vow to abstain from wine. While the rest of the nation was breaking its covenant with God, these people were steadfast in their commitment. God wanted the rest of His people to remain as committed to their covenant with Him as the Recabites were to their vow. God had Jeremiah tempt the Recabites with wine to demonstrate their commitment and dedication. God knew they wouldn’t break their vow. 
   Jehonadab was the son of Recab who had joined Jehu in purging the northern kingdom of Baal worship (2 Kings 10). 
    There is a vivid contrast between the Recabites and the other Israelites. 1) The Recabites kept their vows to a fallible human leader; the people of Israel broke their covenant with their infallible divine Leader. 2) Jehonadab told his family one time not to drink wine, and they obeyed; God commanded Israel constantly to turn from sin, and they refused. 3) The Recabites obeyed laws that dealt with temporal issues; Israel refused to obey God’s laws that dealt with eternal issues. 4) The Recabites had obeyed for hundreds of years; Israel had disobeyed for hundreds of years. 5) The Recabites would be rewarded; Israel would be punished. We often are willing to observe customs merely for the sake of tradition; how much more should we obey God’s Word because it is eternal.