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June 28, 2022 - Jeremiah 35

The story of Jeremiah and the Rechabites is an interesting one. Offered wine to drink, the Rechabites refused because of their vow not to drink. They had also vowed neither to own houses or sow seeds. They kept their vows! The Lord draws a contrast between the Rechabites and the people of Jerusalem: “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” (35:14,15). For its stubborn disobedience, disaster will come upon Jerusalem. And so, the city fell, and the people were taken into exile. But to the Rechabites, the Lord says: “Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me” (35:18,19).

Disobedience vs. obedience. Unfaithfulness vs. faithfulness. Treachery vs. loyalty. Jerusalem vs. the Rechabites. How will our lives be depicted? Might we, often, find ourselves praying, “Lord, like the disciples, I believe. Help my unbelief. Forgive my disobedience and make me what I should be. Make me like the Rechabites.”

Return, O wanderer, return,

And seek thy Father’s face;

Those new desires which in thee burn

Were kindled by his grace.

Return, O wanderer, return,

He hears thy humble sigh;

He sees thy softened spirit mourn

When no one else is nigh.

Return, O wanderer, return,

Thy Savior bids thee live;

Come to his cross, and grateful learn

How freely he’ll forgive. -- William Bengo Collyer (1812)

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