When we read,
study and meditate upon the text of Scripture, we need to be alert and
prayerful, desiring divine illumination. God’s Word enables
you and me not only
to learn the difference between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14), but it
additionally gives insight into the devices Satan uses in his efforts
the advantage over us (2 Corinthians 2:11).
God has a plan.
We know it by Divine revelation as one he formulated in the person of
Christ before the foundation of the world. God’s plan is one
love, mercy and grace to reconcile sinful men to Himself and to one
one body. God wants to bless all of us with abundant life presently and
life when Jesus comes again.
Satan has a plan.
We know it as an alternative plan he has devised in his attempt to
disrupt and frustrate God’s plan of salvation. Satan’s plan is to
harden hearts so they become unresponsive to
heaven’s call and directives; drive wedges to create disunity
children; and, bring together in fellowship those he has begotten with
the Heavenly Father has begotten (Matthew 13:24-30).
Isaiah writes how
God’s thoughts and ways are higher or superior to our own.
His plan is superior
to Satan’s plan. Satan is a loser and all those who allow
themselves to be
deceived by his lies will suffer enormous loss together with him.
Among the many object lessons God employed through his
prophet Jeremiah (figs—Jeremiah 24, bonds and
yokes—Jeremiah 27) was a family
of people loyal to the commands of an ancestor (Jeremiah 35). God told
to offer wine to the house of the Rechabites, and Jeremiah did
noble nomads refused on the grounds of a forefather’s
directive. Rechab’s son,
Jonadab, who had lived in the time of Jehu, some two hundred years
this event, had instructed them to live in tents as sojourners and to
wine (35:6-11; 2 Kings
Though several generations removed, they obeyed.
One might observe from the Rechabites some parallel
with the sojourn of a Christian on earth. Christians have their primary
citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20), and confess that they are
pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13). Earth might be
compared to a
campground. Christians are just camping here, temporarily, awaiting an
incorruptible abode in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4). Too many Christians,
all too caught up in the amenities of affluent societies. They feel too
home on earth, and thus, they do not prepare for an eternal abode.
disciples would be well served to remember they are but nomads
God’s temporal campground.
However, that is not the point God makes with this
account. His point is even more simple and basic: If Rechabites can be
to the long-removed commands of a dead ancestor, why could not the
children of Judah
be obedient to the frequently reminded demands of a living God
merely human Jonadab had been dead for some time, but his descendants
him as if he were there watching every move. The divine God of heaven
watching and renewing His commands through the prophets,
“rising up early and
sending them” (cf. 35:15).
That is such an interesting figure of speech. It is not
as if God needs to “rise up” in any morning. He
never sleeps (cf. Psalm 121:4).
The phrase simply indicates that God was, so to speak, “on
the ball” in keeping
His demands fresh on the people’s minds. They would have had
no excuse to
disobey. The family of Rechab could more reasonably have claimed
command than could the family of Judah.
However, the Rechabites had,
with apparent effort and purpose, remembered. God’s children
had to muster
rebellious effort and purpose just to forget God’s commands
(cf. Jeremiah 5:30-31;
Oh, the folly of suppressing the truth (Romans 1:18b)
and obeying unrighteousness (Romans 2:8). Obedience to God’s
commands is a must
in every age. The New Testament records God’s instructions
for Christians. Obedience
is the path to salvation (Hebrews 5:8-9). Where God has made His word
available, woe to those who neglect or ignore it (2 Thessalonians
2:8). The Rechabites were blessed by their respectful obedience
35:18-19). God’s people will be blessed by their loving
submission to His will