What actually happened? Well, the word of God came to Jeremiah instructing him to go and prepare wine for the sons of Jehonadab to drink. In Jeremiah 35:1-2 the Bible says, “The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink” (KJV). Was this the word from God? Yes it was from God.
What did Jeremiah himself witness? In Jeremiah 35:5-6 Jeremiah says, “And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jehonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever” (KJV). The Rechabites could not be swayed. Now, were they disobeying God by not following what Jeremiah told them to do? Not at all. That word was just testing their commitment. They were being tested and by refusing to drink wine it proved that they were a committed people.
In this particular case, God was actually rebuking the nation of Judah for not being committed to him. It was a comparison between Judah and the Rechabites’ commitment. In that experience Jeremiah found out that the nation of Judah was not as committed as the Rechabites. God wants us to be committed to him just like he wanted Judah to be committed. God is our father that is why we also need to be committed to his instructions.
In Jeremiah 35:16-17 God says, “Because the sons of Jehonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered” (KJV). The nation of Judah ended up being punished for the lack of commitment and the sons of Jehonadab got blessed.
What did Jeremiah the prophet end up prophesying? Well, in Jeremiah 35:18-19 Jeremiah says, “Then I told the Rechabite clan that the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, had said, “You have obeyed the command that your ancestor Jonadab gave you; you have followed all his instructions, and you have done everything he commanded you. So I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, promise that Jonadab son of Rechab will always have a male descendant to serve me” (GNB). God blessed the Rechabites for their commitment. He is still blessing all those who are committed to his word today.
Are you committed to the word of God?