Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for July 30

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for July 30


Jeremiah 35:5–19

The Book of Jeremiah is not written in chronological order. The events of Jeremiah 34 occurred during the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah (596–586 B.C.). Jeremiah 35 and 36 occurred during the reign of Jehoiakim (609–597 B.C.). The southern kingdom of Judah was spiraling toward its death, yet a small group known as the Rechabites remained faithful.

God expects His people to honor Him through their obedience. Obedience is a lifetime commitment rather than a heart attitude that wavers during difficult times.

Tested (5–11)

The Rechabites were descendants of Jehonadab son of Rechab. They were a nomadic group that fought in support of King Jehu against the evil King Ahab of the northern kingdom. Ahab’s wife was the infamous Jezebel. The Rechabites refused to drink wine, live in houses or engage in agriculture. The Rechabites lived in the Judean wilderness but likely relocated to Jerusalem for military protection.

For 200 years, the Rechabites followed the lifestyle of their dead ancestors. In contrast, the leadership and people of the kingdom of Judah were not faithful. Every believer needs faithful examples and mentors to challenge us to remain faithful during times of testing.

Jeremiah brought a remnant of the Rechabites who formerly lived in the wilderness into the temple of the Lord. The prophet set jars of wine before the Rechabites and commanded them to drink. The Rechabites refused to break the command and heritage of their godly ancestors.

In one sense, the Rechabites were more faithful to the commandments of men than the people of God were faithful to God. They lived as “resident aliens,” with a culture of faithfulness that contrasted with the ungodliness around them. The Apostle Peter called Christians to live as exiles in an ungodly culture (1 Pet. 1:1, 2:11). The faithful in 21st-century America will encounter numerous times of testing in an increasingly secular culture.

Contrasted (12–17)

Jeremiah contrasted the faithfulness of the Rechabites to the disobedience of the people of Judah. The Rechabites faithfully followed the words of an ancestor. God’s people failed to follow the message of God even though He continually sent prophets with the same message.

In a culture that emphasized the group over the individual, Jeremiah proclaimed a message of individual responsibility: “Turn each one from his evil way and correct your actions.” Unfortunately, God’s people did not listen to Him.

A mighty movement of God might occur if a significant number of Christians would follow the command to “turn and correct.”

What individual lifestyle issues do you need to turn from and correct in your life? What “gods” are you serving rather than the Lord of the Armies?

In essence, Jeremiah communicates that God had declared war on His own people because of their disobedience.

He called Jeremiah’s generation to “accept discipline” by listening to and obeying the Word of God.

Commended (18–19)

The Rechabites followed their commander. God commended the Rechabites for their faithfulness in difficult times. Jeremiah used a military term to describe God — “the Lord of the Armies.”

The people of God, however, did not obey God. Will we be the generation of obedience?

By Mark Rathel
Professor at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Florida

Share with others:


Related Posts