Ever wonder why some Arabian tribes are teetotalers even today?
When king Jehu of Israel, was on his mission to smite all from the house of the evil king Ahab, Jehonadab, the son of Rechab met him on his journey to Samaria. During this encounter, Jehu asked Jehonadab, if his heart was in allegiance with Jehu’s, to which Jehonadab responded “It is.” Upon hearing Jehonadab’s response, Jehu asks for Jehonadab’s hand which Jehonadab gives and Jehu takes it and uses it to lift him to ride with him in his chariot (2 Kings 10:15).
Later when Jehu subtly gathers the worshipers of Baal in the temple of Baal, so he could kill all the worshipers of Baal, Jehu asks Jehonadab to ensure that none of the servants of the Lord were present, so that the people of God (wheat) are not destroyed (uprooted) along with the servants of Baal (tares) (2 Kings 10:25; Matthew 13:24-29).
The next we read of Jehonadab is in Jeremiah 35 where he is referred to as Jonadab. Here Jonadab is used to contrast the faithfulness of the Arabian Rechabites over the unfaithfulness of Judah. Jonadab has instructed his people (the Rechabites) to never ever drink wine or build houses and his children to many generations were faithful to the commands of this man, unlike the people of God who were even unfaithful to the commands of even God. For this, God is faithful in promising that from the house of Jonadab, there will always be one who will stand to serve God (Jeremiah 35:19).
What can we learn from Jehonadab (aka Jonadab)?
First, when the people of God are fulfilling God’s mission, we must be willing to give our hands to partner and ride on that journey as did Jehonadab to Jehu. When asked if our heart is in allegiance with God’s work and his people, can we say “It is”?
Second, we must ensure that the people of God (believers) are sanctified (set apart) lest any believer perishes.
Finally, we must commission our children to refrain from practices that defile the temple of God (drinking wine) or focus on settling down in this world (build houses), so that we can attain the promise and privilege of serving God, all the days of our life and in any future generations.
2 Kings 10:15-16 (KJV)
15 And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
16 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
2 Kings 10:23 (KJV)
23 And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.
Jeremiah 35:12-14;18-19 (KJV)
13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.
14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.
18 And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:
19 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.