35:1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD [Jeremiah spoke for the Lord] during the reign of Jehoiakim [609-598 BC; led people into disobedience and worship of pagan gods; disregarded his father’s example; one of Judah’s worst kings] son of Josiah [had been a godly leader] king of Judah:
35:2 “Go to the Recabite [relatives of the Kenites (1 Chron. 2:55) and the Midianites] family [refers to the small nomadic tribe; descendants of Jonadab, who supported Jehu in overthrow of evil house of Ahab (2 Kings 10:15-17)] and invite them to come to one of the side rooms [living quarters for those who ministered at the temple] of the house of the LORD [refers to Solomon’s temple] and give them wine to drink [this occasion would become an object lesson to people of Judah and test of the faithfulness of the Recabites].”
35:3 So I [Jeremiah obeyed God’s instructions] went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons—the whole family of the Recabites.
35:4 I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the room of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah the man of God [this man was known for his faithfulness]. It was next to the room of the officials, which was over that of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper.
35:5 Then I set bowls full of wine and some cups before the men of the Recabite family and said to them, “Drink some wine.”
35:6 But they replied [cited instructions given about 250 years earlier], “We do not drink wine, because our forefather [ancestor] Jonadab [a man of great moral strength] son [descendant] of Recab gave us this command [a permanent prohibition]: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.
Note: What moral truths are you teaching your descendants?
35:7 Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land [reminiscent of commandment God had given Israel by Moses (Ex. 20:12)] where you are nomads.’
35:8 We have obeyed everything [a testimony to their faithfulness and loyalty] our forefather Jonadab son of Recab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever [indicates their consistency in obedience to command of their forefather] drunk wine
35:9 or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields or crops.
35:10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jonadab commanded us.
35:11 But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded this land, we said, ‘Come, we must go to Jerusalem to escape the Babylonian and Aramean armies.’ So we have remained in Jerusalem.”
35:12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying:
35:13 “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the men [fathers responsible for setting godly examples for their families] of Judah and the people of Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson [implies a need for correction of wrong action] and obey my words?’ declares the LORD.
35:14 ‘Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s [Recabites were obedient to their earthly father] command. But I have spoken [through prophets] to you again and again [the people repeatedly heard God’s word], yet you have not obeyed me [people of Judah disobedient to their Heavenly Father].
35:15 Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets [spoke for God; cf. Heb. 1:1] to you. They said, “Each [response to God’s word had to be individual] of you must [indicates obligation] turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your fathers [cf. Lev. 26:6-8; Deut. 28:1-14].” But [unlike the descendants of Jonadab] you have not paid attention or listened to me [indicates the people disobeyed the words of God; cf. Prov. 13:13].
35:16 The descendants of Jonadab son of Recab have carried out the command their forefather [earthly father] gave them, but these people [the people of Judah] have not obeyed me [Heavenly Father].’
35:17 “Therefore [introduces consequence of persistent defiance], this is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen [a call to hear and obey or suffer the consequences]! I am going to bring [indicates certainty] on Judah [judgment on nation] and on everyone [judgment on individuals] living in Jerusalem [the holy city and location of the temple] every disaster [included defeat at the hands of their enemies (cf. Lev. 26:14-39; Deut. 28:15-68); Jerusalem fell to Babylonians in 586 BC] I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.’”
Note: Complete the following:
• Our nation needs to repent of…
• I need to repent of…
35:18 Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Recabites, “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says [Recabites commended for their faithfulness]: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’
Note: How faithful are you in keeping your commitments to God and in obeying His instructions?
35:19 Therefore [note that the faithfulness of the Recabites was rewarded], this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me [literally “stand before me”; cf. Neh. 3:14].’”