By Shawn McMullen
During the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, God instructed the prophet Jeremiah to invite the descendants of Jehonadab son of Rekab to a room in the temple to drink wine. The account is found in Jeremiah 35:1-19. The Rekabites refused, citing a vow their ancestor had taken committing his descendents to a nomadic life and forbidding them to drink wine.
God used the incident to contrast the obedience of generations of Rekabites with the disobedience of the nation of Israel. God pronounced judgement on the nation but said of the Rekabites, “You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jehonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered. Therefore . . . Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail to have a descendant to serve me” (vv. 18, 19).
Jehonadab’s descendants honored his vow, and God honored the family for their faithfulness. We don’t know much about Jehonadab, but he must have earned the respect of his family in a big way for his descendents to honor the commitments he made generation after generation.
I admire men like that. Men who stand for something among their family, friends, and coworkers. Men whose character and relationships give power to their words and testimony. Men people imitate. Men people follow.
Truthfully, this is what God calls every Christian man to (and every Christian, for that matter). God is constantly on the lookout for such people, and when he finds them, he blesses them and uses them. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
There is no better promise to the righteous person than this: “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (Psalm 103:17).
What legacy are you leaving?