Jeremiah 35 to 37 Joshua challenged the men of Israel many years ago before these chapters: “Choose ye this day whom you will serve, but for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” [Josh 24:15]. It would have been wise for the men of Judah to have remembered these words because God had placed a similar challenge before them again. Jeremiah puts three stories before us to show us the rewards of faithfulness vs. the consequences of unfaithfulness.
The Rechabites, a nomadic tribe, were faithful to their ancestors never to drink wine and remain nomads. Even as Jeremiah tested them, they remained steadfast, and God gave them a blessing. “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.” [Jer 35:19]
In sharp contrast to the Rechabites is King Jehoiakim, who “did not rend his garments” nor humble himself but burned the scroll of God’s words. To him came this pronouncement: “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David…I will also punish him and his descendants and his servants for their iniquity,” [Jer 36:30-31]
The third story Jeremiah is about King Zedekiah, who was a vacillating king. Although fearful, he would not trust the words of Jeremiah about the impending overthrow of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar. However, he would later see that what God had said would come true. [Jer 39]
What is the lesson God wants us to learn?
God rewards faithfulness and removes blessing from the unfaithful. Where are you?