Today’s Reading: Judges 21, Jeremiah 35, Acts 25, and Psalm 7-8.
Isn’t it just like God to send Jeremiah to offer wine to a people group called “the Rechabites” to show His people just how far off they have gotten?
Isn’t it just like God to use a group of people who fiercely obey their dead patriarch as an example of how His own should be?
A group of people called “Rechabites” put on a obedience clinic . . . and they were obeying someone/something that wasn’t even God. They were living in strict obedience to a man. . . a dead man. A man who could do nothing for them. Their obedience to Jonadab wasn’t just commendable – it was the model. It was held up before Judah as THE way to obey.
God had Jeremiah offer these people wine just to show His people what obedience looks like. The Rechabites were intensely obeying a man who no longer existed. God’s people, on the other hand, were completely ignoring the One who redeemed them (v. 16).
I wonder – if God were to do something similar for His people today – if He would not set before us some radical Muslims? I mean, they live in all out obedience to a “god” who doesn’t exist. They give themselves – FULLY – in the name of Allah. They read and study and memorize their holy book – all of it – and do what it says.
All for something/someone who can do nothing for them. . . because he doesn’t exist.
Obedience matters. It’s critical. God threatens terrible things when we don’t (v. 17). Not because He needs us to obey, but because what He commands is for our own good. He loves us too much NOT to care whether or not we obey.
God didn’t put the Rechabites in front of His people to condemn them. No, no. He put them there to rebuke them. He didn’t love the Rechabites more because they obeyed a dead guy. He loved Judah so much that He put before them a model of what obedience looks like. Were Judah to obey like that – sheer blessing from God would follow.
The same is true for us. God cares about obedience. Whether or not we obey will have consequences. God is zealous for our obedience, not because He is waiting to see who He is going to love more, but because His commands are given for our good. He is eager for us to thrive. When we do, we get joy and He gets glory.
Read Jeremiah 35 again. Compare your obedience pattern with the Rechabites. What are you missing out on that you could enjoy from God were you to obey?