“Go to the settlement where the families of the Recabites live
and invite them to the LORD’s Temple.
Take them into one of the inner rooms, and offer them some wine.”
Jeremiah 35:2 NLT
One of my favorite 90’s movies is a Martin Short & Danny Glover comedy called Pure Luck. In it, an extremely unlucky woman gets lost while on a trip and her wealthy father hires a detective and an equally unlucky man to try and recover her. The father’s philosophy is that, if that unlucky man travels to the same location as his daughter, he might “slip on the same banana peel” and “fall into the same black hole” that his unlucky daughter did, leading the detective right to her.
The father had so much faith in the inescapable nature of the unlucky man that he bet his daughter’s life on it.
This week I read an account in Jeremiah that reminds me quite a bit of the faith of this Hollywood father and the inescapable nature of the unlucky man. In chapter 35, God asks Jeremiah to go visit a group of people called the Recabites and invite them to the LORD’s temple and, once there, offer them some wine. At first glance it seems like a strangely simple errand for Jeremiah: “God wants me to go invite my neighbors over for a nice glass of vino at his Church.” But it turned out to be an extremely powerful object lesson. Check out what happened:
5 Then I set bowls full of wine and some cups before the Rekabites and said to them, “Drink some wine.” 6 But they replied, “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine. 7 Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.’ 8 We have obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine 9 or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields or crops. 10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab commanded us. (Jeremiah 35:5-10 NLT)
These specific individuals weren’t even alive when the vow was made, but they and their entire line of descendants still honored that promise some 200 years later. They were inescapably faithful to their ancestor’s vow. God knew this when he told Jeremiah to arrange this meeting. But God let it all play out anyway so that Jeremiah and the people of Judah and Jerusalem could see this faithfulness firsthand.
It makes me wonder…
- What inescapable quality God has placed in me that He knows will shine through no matter what circumstance or situation I’m placed in? Is it my empathy? My curiosity? My faith? My joy? My clumsiness?
- Am I living authentically and transparently so that, if I were ever invited to “drink wine in the Temple” or “slip on the same banana peel,” my specific inescapable quality will naturally shine through and testify to my Perfect Maker?
This week I will be praying that God gives me the courage and boldness to live out quirky, unique individual, made-in-his-image-ness in every moment, trusting that God uses it to his glory.
Dear Lord, you made me, you formed me in my Mother’s womb and you knew me before anyone. You know the voice of my heart and you let your own Holy Spirit reside within me. I humbly ask you to flood my moments with your courage so that, when opportunities arise to tell of your goodness in my own unique way, I may do JUST THAT!! Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/82763263@N00/4600671702″>y2.d131 | there is a war going on for your mind. resistance is victory. defeat is impossible.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>