Jer 35: "The Rechabites were a faithful community when the
ecclesia in Jerusalem at the time of Jeremiah were unfaithful. They were not
true Israelites according to the flesh, but descendants of Heber the Kenite
father in law to Moses. Their record is one of service to Yahweh (Jdg 4:11;
5:24; 2Ki 10:15; 1Ch 2:55; Num 10:28-32; Exo 2:16-22; 18:1-27). Though of
Gentile extraction, they honoured their father; when Israel did not honour its
heavenly Father. Jeremiah records the testimony of this diligent remnant in Jer
35:  The Rechabites tried: vv 1-5;  The Rechabites remain true to their
charge: vv 6-11.  Israel contrasted with the Rechabites: vv 12-15; and 
Israel condemned, and the Rechabites commended: vv 16-19. There are true
Rechabites today in those Gentiles who seek the things of Yahweh in spirit and
in truth" (GEM).
RECABITES: Rechab may have been from one of the Kenite
families that came into Palestine with the Israelites (1Ch 2:55). The Kenites
were a southern tribe (Gen 15:19); a portion lived among the Jews -- including
Heber (Jdg 4:11), Jethro or Hobab (Num 20:29-32; Exo 2:16-22; 18:1-27). In the
days of the divided kingdom, Rechab determined that it was the Palestinian
culture that was the cause of the apostasy and immorality of the people, and
commanded his sons to return to the old nomadic way of life in all its
simplicity. Jonadab, the leader of the Rechabites in the days of Jehu, assisted
that king in his destruction of Baal worship (2Ki 10:15,23). In the days of
Jeremiah, the prophet used the Rechabites as an object lesson. He brought them
to the house of the Lord and offered them wine. They refused because of their
loyalty to their ancestor Rechab and his command. Jeremiah used their
faithfulness as a rebuke to the unfaithfulness of Israel to Yahweh.
WE DO NOT DRINK WINE: Example of Noah (Gen 9:20-25),
Lot (Gen 19:30-38), Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:8-10).
"For he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and builder is God... All these people were still living by
faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw
them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens
and strangers on earth" (Heb 11:10,13).
They were only in the city at all because of fear of
THEY OBEY THEIR FOREFATHER'S COMMAND: Although he had
been dead over 200 years, the Recabites still obey the command of their father.
And they will be rewarded (v 19)... even though he was an imperfect
BUT YOU HAVE NOT PAID ATTENTION OR LISTENED TO ME: But
Israel, with a perfect Father, disobey... and will be punished (v 17).
"The words of a man are obeyed; the words of God are
disregarded. This is the central argument of the incident. This is God's
complaint to the house of Israel by Jeremiah. And is it not a reasonable
complaint? Whose words ought to be obeyed, if not the words of 'the High and
Lofty One, inhabiting Eternity'? Is it not a complaint that might with peculiar
force be addressed to this age of the world? The commandments and ordinances of
men are submitted to in all the ways of life, but the commandments of God have
ceased even to be an intelligible idea, let alone a practical power, in the
habitations of men. Yea, it may be said that the spirit of obedience in any
direction is more and more on the wane. If man's commands are obeyed, it is not
from the spirit of obedience, but in the spirit of fear of consequences. Human
law would soon be a dead letter, if it were not for the handcuffs of the police
and the powder and shot of the military. Yet the spirit of obedience is the
noblest spirit under the sun. It was the departure from it in the beginning that
led to the world's woes; it is the return to it that will be the salvation of
men. 'By one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so be the obedience of
one [man] shall many be made righteous (or obedient)' [Rom 5:19]" (FSC
Jonadab had died, and thus cannot be grieved by their
disobedience. but Yahweh IS grieved. Jonadab could send no messengers, but
Yahweh continues to send Israel more messengers.
JONADAB SON OF RECAB WILL NEVER FAIL TO HAVE A MAN:
Rabbi Judah is said to have recorded that Rechabite daughters married Levites
and thus the promise was fulfilled. Hegesippus said that "Rechabite priests"
interceded for James, the brother of Christ, but failed to save his life (Eus
2:23). Or, alternatively, in Kingdom, immortal Recabites receiving their
inheritance along with David (Jer 33:17,18).
TO SERVE ME: "To stand before me" (AV). The term
implies attendance upon royalty as a follower -- which requires the presence of
the Prince when, at last, the fulfilment of the parable will be completed. Cp
Gen 18:22; 19:17; Psa 122:2; Deu 4:10; 5:5; Jer 15:1. God promises to heal
Israel: Jer 30:17,18; Hos 14:4,5; Jer 3:22.