The Rechabites: These were a semi-nomadic Kenite group, related to Moses’ father-in-law, descended from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab. The originator of their rules was Jonadab, a faithful follower of the Lord and a strict observer of the Mosaic Law. They derived their name from Rechab and were not of Jacob’s seed, but “strangers” in Israel. (NKJ Study Bible)
In the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, the prophet Jeremiah was sent by the Lord to the house of the Rechabites. By way of Jeremiah the Lord invited the Rechabites into the temple. There they were to be served wine. Although they accepted the invitation and came into the house of the Lord, the Rechabites refused the wine. These invited guests spurned the gift offered to them by their gracious host. Why?
“We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall drink no wine, you or your sons, forever.’” (Jeremiah 35:6) The Rechabites also explained to Jeremiah that they were not to build houses nor plant any crops. They were instructed to dwell only in tents. And so they had obeyed and done everything their father Jonadab had commanded for many, many years.
God then had Jeremiah address Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and point to the Rechabites and their unreserved obedience to their father, Jonadab, and his commandments. “But although I have spoken to you (Judah), rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me. I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them…but you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me.” (vs.14, 15)
Therefore, the Lord pronounced doom on Judah and Jerusalem because He had spoken to them repeatedly and they would not hear; He had called to them again and again but they would not answer; He had given them instruction time after time but they would not obey. And the Rechabites? God chose to honor their obedience, even to Jonadab, with this promise: “Jonadab, the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.” (v. 19)
God is speaking to us today. We need to hear Him. God is calling us today. We need to answer Him. God is instructing us today in the way of obedience. We need to obey Him. God has provided for us HIS way to salvation. We need to follow Him – and then like the Rechabites we shall stand before Him forever.