Day 30

The Rechabites’ Example

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan

Jeremiah 35:1-19, Jeremiah 36:1-32, Joel 2:15-17, Luke 16:29-31

BY Rebecca Faires

The last fire truck just disappeared down our driveway. Our woods have been thoroughly soaked with water and while my kids’ eyes are big, their stories are already even bigger. I can still smell the wet wood steam, and the wind is just as strong as it was thirty minutes ago, when a small bonfire caught the wind and flew across the dead leaves, spreading down the hill in the high winds before I could get it back under control. Everyone and everything is okay, but I can’t help but wonder, Could I have prevented this?

I don’t have a great history with fire. When I was a child, I apparently left one candle burning on one blanket-covered bed and certain responsible adults still see fit to bring it up every Easter. (You’d think I would have learned, right?) But despite all of my past fire-related transgressions, I believe I should be forgiven these mistakes since everything turned out alright in the end.

We are accustomed to think of God’s grace as a “get out jail free” card, one that is indiscriminately available to cover whatever we can dish out. This is the natural bent of the human heart. We don’t really see all that much wrong with how we live, because we live in a culture of self-definition: I decide what is right for me, and no one should judge me for it. But what happens to that logic when we come face to face with a holy God?

We know what God’s Word says. But do we listen? God set before us the example of the Rechabites in contrast to the promiscuous culture of Judah under Jehoiakim’s reign. The Rechabites listened to the words of their ancestor, Jonabab, while Judah wouldn’t even listen to the Word of God. The Rechabites continued in obedience, generation after generation, resulting in God’s assurance that “Jonadab son of Rechab will never fail to have a man to stand before [God] always” (Jeremiah 35:19). Meanwhile, Judah continued on in their rebellion, despite repeated prophetic warning.

The people of Judah had so hardened their hearts that they utterly dismissed the dire warnings of God’s impending judgment—evidenced by the king throwing the warnings into the fire. In the context of this passage, this stubborness is shocking and disturbing. But are we so different?

The truth begins with tough news: Our hearts “are more deceitful than anything else” (Jeremiah 17:9). Acknowledging this fact leads us to the next unsettling truth: We have to deal with a Holy God. What can we do in the face of His righteous judgment? We cannot cure our own hearts, and He cannot abide wickedness, nor will He be deceived or mocked (Galatians 6:7). The hardened heart responds to the gospel like Jehoiakim: with denial and unbelief. Such a heart casts aside every warning, arrogantly dismissing the authority and holiness of God. And “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

There is only the way of life or the way of death. Our merciful God opens the door to the way of life, even to rebellious Judah: “Perhaps when the house of Judah hears about all the disaster I am planning to bring on them, each one of them will turn from his evil way. Then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin” (Jeremiah 36:3). God not only offers an undeserving and rebellious people the gift of forgiveness, He also graciously offers blessing to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and love to walk in His law (Matthew 5:6). Through His grace, God extends to us a promise not unlike the one He offered to the Rechabites: the ongoing blessings of His covenant.

Do not harden your heart. Receive the grace available to you through Jesus! Turn away from evil. Do not throw His warnings into the fire, but instead live in the goodness of all He has given you. Because of Jesus, God will abundantly pardon, and grant you peace and joy everlasting.

Post Comments (47)

47 thoughts on "The Rechabites’ Example"

  1. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love that God forgives us when we admit our sins. It doesn’t matter how many times we sin, he always forgives.

  2. Haley Z says:

    This whole study keeps revealing how steadfast Jeremiah’s faith and trust in God actually is. He is unwavering and listens to everything God tells him because he knows that He is good. May we all learn to follow God like Jeremiah and follow him endlessly with His love in our hearts.

  3. PAM G WILLIAMS says:

    Katie Kimball, I totally concur with your comments. Before I read the, I had written in my journal that today, I confessed the collective sins of our nation, the blood on our hands of millions of babies, the pride in our accomplishments etc. Help me, Lord, to remember each aspect of our nation’s leadership and people in prayer, that we will humble ourselves in repentance and prayer, especially during this plague of corona virus, which indeed may be a warning to us.

  4. PAM G WILLIAMS says:

    I am weeping as I read of what Jehoiakim, son of the most obedient king, Josiah, did with the scrolls, burning them in the fire–the utter disdain! I pray that I will heed Your Word, Father, and not burn it by my disobedience. Help me to crucify my flesh. Help me to be like the Rechabites. Help me daily to choose life.

  5. Claudia says:

    Oh how I love Jesus!! I am forever thankful for the gift of his love forgiveness. I was raised in a very legalistic church and it wasn’t until adulthood that I learned the true meaning of God’s mercy and grace. Today’s reading solidified to me that God will never not forgive me. When I turn to him with a true repentant heart, he is faithful and just to forgive my every sin. My heart’s desire to please God in all that I do and say. I know there will be times that I will fall short but God will convict me and if I am willing, I will ask for forgiveness and he will forgive.

    1. Camille English Davis says:


  6. Jenna says:

    I went and read the full parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 for a little more context. It’s a pretty sobering story. It reminds me that “to whom much has been given much is required.” (Luke 12:48). God, in his grace, has revealed His Son to me through His word and His Holy Spirit. I need to take His word seriously and let it shape my life. Praying that God would give me a heart sanctified by His truth and that he would set eternity in my heart.

  7. Avis DeniseGraves says:

    Thank You Lord!

  8. Sarah D. says:

    Hi SRT family, just posting again from yesterday, but prayers appreciated for my sister, her husband, and my niece. Last week they announced that they were pregnant again, but unfortunately yesterday my sister called saying that she had a miscarriage. I remember many of you posting comments that you have experienced this. There are definitely no words that I feel I can say to her besides I’m sorry and I love you. Please pray for comfort,strength, and peace, and that she and her husband would lean into Christ during this time. My brother-in law I don’t think is that strong of a Christian, so please pray that although is must be so hard, that it would bring him to Christ. My sister is a believer, but I just hope this doesn’t hurt her faith…prayer appreciated for them. Love you all.

    1. Ashley P. says:

      Praying for your family, Sarah, that they’d be comforted and drawn to the Lord in this time.

    2. Jen Brewer says:

      Praying as well for comfort and strength and being drawn closer to Jesus. ❤️

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