They Have Obeyed Their Father’s Command

Text: Jeremiah 35:1-17

The respect the Rechabites had for their earthly father provides an example for how we should respect our heavenly Father.

Why This Example is Important

  • Children are to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3) – honor them even in adulthood (Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4-6)
  • Parents are responsible to “train up” & discipline their children (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)
  • This should teach us about our relationship with God (Hebrews 12:9) – this is why the example of the Rechabites is cited

The Example of the Rechabites

  • Jeremiah was told to invite the Rechabites into the house of the Lord & give them wine (Jeremiah 35:1-5) – not an endorsement of the casual use of alcohol (God knew they would not drink it); this was done to make a point
  • Why did the Rechabites refuse the wine? (Jeremiah 35:6-10) – Jonadab, their father, commanded them & their descendants not to drink wine forever (v. 6); he gave other commands also (v. 7); they obeyed their father (v. 8-10)
  • These were grown men (they had wives & children, v. 8), free to make their own choices about these things – their continued obedience to their earthly father indicated a deep respect for him; especially since following these instructions would mean living a very different lifestyle
  • Their example provided a stark contrast with the inhabitants of Judah/Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:12-17) – they obeyed their father’s command (v. 14); men of Judah refused to obey God (v. 14-16) and would be punished for it (v. 17)

Application to Our Service to God

  • Respect God (Hebrews 12:28) – God is more than an earthly father; He is our Creator (Romans 1:20-21) & our Judge (2 Corinthians 5:10)
  • Listen to God (Hebrews 4:7) – listen with a view toward obedience (James 1:22)
  • Exercise self-control (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:5-6) – refrain from doing those things that are  wrong (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • Practice self-denial (Luke 9:23) – do those things which we would otherwise not do (Romans 6:18)
  • Be willing to be different from the world (Romans 12:2) – we have been called out of the world (John 15:19)


  • If we respect God, everything else should follow
  • If we fail to listen, practice what is wrong, and conform to the world, we must ask ourselves: Do we really respect God?
  • The Rechabites had a great respect for their earthly father – we must have the same type of respect for God

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