I was reading Jeremiah chapter 35 in the Bible earlier this week. Ever read it? Go ahead, I can wait. It’s a pretty cool story.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOkkkkkkkkkkk since you won’t read it, I will tell you. In the chapter, God tells Jeremiah to call all the heads of the households of the Rechab family to the temple in Jerusalem. He tells them that this Rechab family (Rechabites, they are called) have refused to cultivate farms, build houses and drink wine for 300 years, ever since their forefather told them not to. If the family can’t build houses, plant farms or settle down, what do you think they do all day?! They tend sheep and goats! They are nomadic shepherds! They live in tents outside the cities and wander in the wilderness, tending their sheep. They’d been doing that FOREVER.
So God tells Jeremiah to gather together the Rechabites into the temple where all the Israelite priests and leaders are, and set out big tables filled with lots and lots of wine. Tell the Rechabites to drink it, God says to Jeremiah. See what happens, He says.
The Rechabites stroll into the temple. They see all the wine. Actually, they probably smelled it all over the Israelites before they even hit Jerusalem. And I’ll betcha they can put two and two together. “Drink it,” says Jeremiah.
“Uh-uh, buddy,” say the Rechabites. They give their entire story about how their forefather told them not to do it, and no way no how are they gonna break that now, etc etc, ad nauseum. No way, Jose, especially now that the whole kingdom is overrun with debauchery and troubles.
Jeremiah turns to the Jews with blazing eyes. He tells them what God is saying: Look at how these Rechabites are acting. They obey a command given to them by their forefather from THREE HUNDRED YEARS ago, and have never broken their vows. Look at YOU! You vow to do what I have asked you and you turn away the next day to break your promise! I’m sick of you thumbing your nose at Me! You think I’m going to ignore your disgusting behavior?!
Then God addresses the Rechabites: You guys are to be commended for keeping your solemn promise. I tell you this — until the end of time, I will always make sure that I reveal Myself to your descendants. I will always make SURE that your descendants have the opportunity to be a part of what I am doing and be a part of My Big Jeshua Deliverance Plan on the earth.
So the Rechabites went their merry way, wineless, back to their sheep and tents.
………………. the centuries pass………
Fast-forward 500 years or so… believe it or not, these Rechabites are STILL tending sheep, still skipping the farming and wine and STILL holding onto God’s promise that He will make sure He reveals Himself to the family.
Lo, and behold, a UFO!!!! Hymie, RUN!
No, wait — WAIT — angels! Holy cow, angels! They are saying something? What’s that?! Oh my GOSH, man– these angels are quoting Luke chapter 2!!!
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Do ya get it?!
I don’t know about you, but I think that it is VERY COOL that God sent His message to the shepherds first.
He remembers His promises and keeps his promises. Go ahead. See what happens.