The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me.
Jeremiah 35:14 ESV
The Rechabites were tea-totallers. They were like Methodists traditionally are, with a tradition of abstinence from alcohol. Although the Bible itself doesn’t command tea-totalism, God did commend the Rechabites for obeying the tradition of their patriarch Jonadab.
The point God was making in this chapter through Jeremiah was that it’s all very well observing family traditions, but it’s much more important to obey the commandments of God. If we break family traditions, we dishonour our parents. If we break divine law, we rebel against Almighty God.
There’s nothing wrong with alcohol in moderation. Neither is there anything wrong with tea-totalism. But obedience of God isnt just some lifestyle choice: it’s essential.
We all fail to perfectly obey God. Thankfully, as Jesus said, the work God asks of us is to believe in the One He sent: Jesus Himself. Jesus perfectly kept God’s law so that if we trust in Him, we will be saved.
“Heavenly Father, please help us to obey You, and to believe in Your Son. In His name we pray, amen”