Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part X: Events Just Before Jerusalem's Fall
B. Learning To Appreciate God's Value Of Consistent Obedience
(Jeremiah 35:1-19)
  1. Introduction
    1. Proverbs 20:6 ESV tells us that "Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?" The picture is clear: faithfulness is a relatively rare, invaluable commodity to find in people.
    2. However, faithfulness is highly valued by God, a lesson illustrated in Jeremiah 35:1-19 as follows:
  2. Learning To Appreciate God's Value Of Consistent Obedience, Jeremiah 35:1-19.
    1. The word of God that came to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 35:1 occurred in a time when the son of good king Josiah, king Jehoiakim, was beginning to return to the evil ways of Josiah's forefathers, 2 Kings 23:34-37.
    2. With this discouraging lapse from the uprightness of godly Josiah in Jehoiakim's administration, Jeremiah was told by God to invite the Rechabites to come into the temple precincts and to give them wine to drink in front of Jehoiakim's officials, Jer 35:2-3, 4. This directive would expose the faithfulness of these men to an edict that had been laid upon them by their upright ancestor, Jonadab (as follows):
      1. The Rechabites were nomads (Jer. 35:6, 7-10) who were related to Moses' Gentile [Kenite] father-in-law, Jethro, 1 Chronicles 2:54-55; Judges 1:16; they had descended from Jonadab son of Recab who had joined Jehu when he destroyed Baal worship in Israel in 2 Kings 10:15-27.
      2. Now, Jonadab had made his sons promise not to drink wine or settle in the land, for he was apparently concerned about the godless influences Judah's Hebrews might have on his descendants for idolatry and sinful living, so he wanted them to live apart from union with the Hebrews of Judah, Jer. 35:6-7.
      3. So, for Jeremiah to urge these men to drink wine in the presence of king Jehoiakim's officials was to urge them to do what they had specifically been taught not to do by their ancestor, Jonadab!
    3. In the test, the descendants of Jonadab, the son of Rechab refused Jeremiah's urge to drink wine, stating they were faithful to the command of their ancestor to abstain from wine and from settled living, 37:6-10. In fact, they explained the only reason they had ceased to heed the oath to Jonadab to live as nomads, and that by recently moving to Jerusalem, was due to Babylon's threat to those in the open country, Jer. 35:11.
    4. God responded to their loyalty to their ancestor's charge, contrasting the faithfulness of these Rechabites to their upright ancestor with the faithlessness of Judah to Himself, Jeremiah 35:12-15:
      1. The Lord told Jeremiah to ask the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah why they would not obey His words like the Rechabites had obeyed the dictates of their upright forefather, Jonadab, Jer. 35:12-14.
      2. God continued to detail how many times and for how long He had given His words to no avail in sharp contrast to how the Rechabites had faithfully heeded their ancestor's single charge to them! (Jer. 35:15)
    5. Accordingly, God revealed that due to the failure of an adequate excuse on the part of His people not to obey the Lord as the Rechabites had their forefather in Jonadab, He would justly punish the people of Judah for disobeying Him by causing them to fall before the Babylonian invaders, Jeremiah 35:16-17.
    6. In stark contrast to the fate of the people of Judah, Jeremiah told the Rechabites that since they had heeded the charge of their forefather regarding their abstinence from wine and their nomadic lifestyle, their FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE to their FOREFATHER would be rewarded by the Lord: the Rechabites would always have a man to stand before the Lord in the land! (Jeremiah 35:18-19)
Lesson: Where Judah's failure to heed the Lord was so disappointing in view of the godliness of their last king, good King Josiah, the FAITHFUL obedience of the Rechabites to their upright ancestor, Jonadab, who was concerned about the godless corruption in Judah that could affect his seed, was very heartwarming, and was REWARDED by GOD; God DEEPLY valued such FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE!

Application: (1) May we like the Rechabites who heeded their upright father, Jonadab FAITHFULLY HEED the Lord's will that HE might bless us with them! (2) May we ALSO like the Rechabites KEEP HEEDING the upright directives of our godly forefathers who had a heart for God, 2 Timothy 3:13-15. (3) May we like Jonadab himself put a high priority on preserving our own walk and those of our disciples by upholding necessary separation from others who tend to stray from God and His Word!