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Jeremiah 35:18-19 NIV

[18] Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Rechabites, “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jehonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.

[19] Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail to have a descendant to serve me.’ ”

There is an interesting story in the Bible that is rarely read nor preached, it is about a clan who stuck to the instructions of its founder as a result of which they were blessed and honored by God.

The Rechabite clan was used by God as an example to unfaithful Judah who had been stubborn and unfaithful. They have refused to give heed to warnings and commandments from Jehovah, as a result, they were punished.

Rechab has given instructions to his children concerning how to live, which instructions they passed on to succeeding generations. It was made part of the clan’s constitution probably with sanctions attached.

Read Jeremiah 35:6-10 NIV

[6] But they replied, “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine’.

[7] Also, you must never build houses, sow seeds, 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 where you are nomads.’

[8] We have obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine.

[9] or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields, or crops.

[10] We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab commanded us.

An instruction that flies in the face of progress as defined by the world. Don’t build houses, set up businesses (vineyards, fields, or crops !) don’t chill, etc. Read it.

“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 where you are nomads.’”

The advice was simple, live moderate lives, do not pursue vanities, nor copy the patterns of others around you. The conclusion gives the reason for such instruction; “Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.’”

Is this not the same instructions we read in NT?

Romans 12 KJV

2+ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Such was the lifestyle of the Rechabites that when God wanted to teach Israel the lesson on faithfulness He chose them. God is looking, for example, church or family, please read on.

Here is the challenge:

  • If Jesus wants to teach the unbelievers or the denominational world how His followers should be, can He use us as examples? Can He comfortably point to us as examples they should emulate?
  • Can your local congregation, located within a cluster of churches or communities of unbelievers be a good example of what it means to be a Christian church? Or a church of Christ?
  • Nationally, are we well-positioned and can be seen as a church with a difference? Can the public use us as yardsticks to measure others in the area of faith, benevolence, love, unity etc?

On a personal note:

In life, I have seen families that looked like the Rechabites. Am sure you may have seen such before.

The forebears of these families established traditions, conducts, patterns or lifestyles, and behaviors that run through generations bearing the family name.

Growing up, I’ve heard references made to members of some families as types or examples that I should emulate. My late father would very often challenge me to act and emulate the example of a young boy from one such family in the field of academics.

He also, on the inverse dissuaded me from acting foolishly and unwisely by making reference to another young boy from another family in the vicinity!

So the question is, can our families serve as reference points? Can any point to our families as examples of godly homes, and challenge others to emulate us? People are watching us, our lives are open letters being read by our neighbors whether we know it or not.

If God is looking for a congregation to set up as an example ( model)  of faithfulness, godliness, etc will yours come on top? This is a challenge to leadership.

If He is looking for families to set up as models of godly homes will yours or mine be one? This is a challenge for parents.

Let us pray that He finds us faithful and worthy to be used as examples to teach others. These thoughts frighten me I must confess!

Wrtten by : Bro. J F Tamakloe (Evangelist) +233244362010