So many times we know what God says, but don’t obey him. One reason is that we feel like we’ll “miss out on all the fun.” Or that we’ll find more happiness if we do things our way instead of God’s. That’s how the people of Judah were. But here God shows them and us the blessing that comes from obedience.
God told Jeremiah to invite a family to the temple. They were all descendants of a man named Recab. They must have been looked upon by their neighbors as a bit strange. They still lived in tents when everyone else had built their own homes, and they refused to drink wine like everyone else.
When this family came, they went to the one of the rooms in the temple where the sons of a man named Hanan lived. Jeremiah then offered them wine to drink, but they replied,
We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine. Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.’ We have obeyed everything our forefather Jonadab son of Recab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields or crops. We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jonadab commanded us. (6-10)
Even when Nebuchadnezzar came against Judah, and they were forced to flee from their land to Jerusalem, they continued to keep the command of Jonodab.
God then spoke to Jeremiah, saying,
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me. (13-14)
In other words, “These men obeyed their forefather Jonadab, even though he was a mere man. But here I am your God, and you don’t obey me. Why not?”
But then he said of the Recabites,
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’ Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.’ (18-19)
Because the Recabites were faithful to their forefather, and to God, they found blessing in their lives at a time when judgment was falling on the land they were living in.
What about you? Do you truly believe that if you follow God and do things his way that you’ll find blessing? This is not to say that your life will be easy. But you will find joy and contentment in your life as you follow him, no matter your circumstances.
Lord, help me to trust you. To do things your way instead of mine. And as I do, put your hand of blessing on me. May my life be yours, as I serve you each day. In Jesus name, amen.