Dear Father, I praise You for the grace You have extended to me. Help me to show it to others.
Read Jeremiah 35:1-19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“We are not in the Secret Service; we are in the Spirit’s service. Touched by the Spirit we can love more extravagantly, serve more creatively, give more lavishly” (Leonard Sweet).
We do not know the identity of Jehonadab, the godly ancestor of the Recabites who laid upon his descendants the injunctions in vs. 6 and 7. It was not a requirement of the Law but a voluntary commitment which went beyond what was required of Levites, or of someone who took the Nazirite vow (Deut. 18:1; Num. 6). From one generation to another, the Recabites followed these injunctions without fail, even though they had nothing to gain by it. To say the least, their unconventional lifestyle could not have been an object of admiration in a nation that grew progressively decadent. It is not hard to imagine how a young Recabite would stick out in the midst of other young Jews! The prophet pointed them out as a worthy model for the religious leaders, in particular, and for the nation at large. As far as God was concerned, their testimony was worthy of lasting reward.
What the Recabites were to their compatriots was what God wanted Israel to be as his witness to the nations. He chose their ancestor, Abraham for this purpose to the end that all the peoples of the world would thereby be blessed. He gave them his Law and sent them all the help they required to make a success of it, including priests and prophets to teach and to guide them in his ways. Unlike the Recabites, they indulged in willful disobedience.
This is the calling we now have as sons and daughters of God who are to “shine … like stars” in a crooked and depraved generation (Phil. 2:15). Again and again in his letters, the apostle Paul invites believers to imitate him (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 4:9; 2 Thess. 3:7-9; 2 Tim. 3:10-12). Should we not be doing the same?
Children and young people watch and often imitate us. How are you, by word and example, drawing them closer to Christ?
Mighty God, You keep Your covenant and You are faithful to Your promises. Forgive me for my inconsistencies and empower me for a faithful walk with You.
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