by Rev Joel Yong
Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups, and I said to them, Drink wine. But they answered, We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn. We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, and not to build houses to dwell in. We have no vineyard or field or seed, but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father commanded us. But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and the army of the Syrians. So we are living in Jerusalem. Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares the Lord. 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.
Jonadab gave his descendants a command to abstain from wine and they did, for generations.
Men are good at following traditions – and because it is their custom, they can repeat it for years.
But God highlights this example – and then compares it to Israel’s unfaithfulness to His commands.
He shows that while we can follow the customs of men well, even blindly following them..we are not as faithful in following the way of living that God has called us to!
It’s a good reminder to us all today.
We may follow traditions such as –
- Special meal gatherings on special calendar dates
- Attendance at specific church calendar events as a family
- Gifts opened on Christmas morning
- Even abstinence from certain foods because the patriarch or matriarch in our family never ate of it
Or any other traditions you might note …
In contrast, are we equally consistent at obeying the commands of God?
Following men’s traditions leads to uniformity …
Following God’s commands leads us to an eternity with Him …