We already talked about description vs. prescription. I want to give you a good example of this thinking in process. It is the story, “description”, in Jeremiah 35 about the Rechabites.
This group of people obeyed their “father” by living in tents, not drinking wine and not planting crops. God blesses them because of this obedience. God, through Jeremiah, uses this group’s example to criticize the rest of the Jews. This group will obey an earthly patriarch but the Hebrews will not obey God. Because of this and their example, Jeremiah tells therm that god will bless the Rechabites and they will not lack one to stand before God forever.
What about us?
One may try to say that to be blessed by God, we need to do all that our patriarchs did. This may be true, but one can’t glean this from this passage.
As already said, this is a descriptive event, it was never a biblical command. The commands and promises that were involved were for another people, not us nor our time. In other words this promise was given to the Rechabites, not us. In fact it was not even given to the rest of Israel, they were only commanded to follow and obey God. This is the same command that Christ and the apostles have given us, we are to follow and obey God.
A promise for another.
Think of it this way, what if you promised one of your neighbors that you would help her mow her yard. Another neighbor hears this and says, “you promised to mow her yard, that promise applies to me as well.” I think you see the issue here? The other neighbor can’t claim that promise! It’s not his.
If we take the thought that the story applies to us, then we should do as commanded as well, live in tents, never drink wine, and never grow crops. No, we have a greater command, we are to obey, love and follow the laws of God and Jesus. For doing this, we also have a greater reward then they received. We are the sons and daughters of God!
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