The Message that Jeremiah received from God ten years earlier, during the time of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Israel:
"Go visit the Recabite community. Invite them to meet with you in one of the rooms in God's Temple. And serve them wine."
So I went and got Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, along with all his brothers and sons - the whole community of the Recabites as it turned out -
and brought them to God's Temple and to the meeting room of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God. It was next to the meeting room of the Temple officials and just over the apartment of Maaseiah son of Shallum, who was in charge of Temple affairs.
Then I set out chalices and pitchers of wine for the Recabites and said, "A toast! Drink up!"
But they wouldn't do it. "We don't drink wine," they said. "Our ancestor Jonadab son of Recab commanded us, 'You are not to drink wine, you or your children, ever.
Neither shall you build houses or settle down, planting fields and gardens and vineyards. Don't own property. Live in tents as nomads so that you will live well and prosper in a wandering life.'
"And we've done it, done everything Jonadab son of Recab commanded. We and our wives, our sons and daughters, drink no wine at all.
We don't build houses. We don't have vineyards or fields or gardens.
We live in tents as nomads. We've listened to our ancestor Jonadab and we've done everything he commanded us.
"But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded our land, we said, 'Let's go to Jerusalem and get out of the path of the Chaldean and Aramean armies, find ourselves a safe place.' That's why we're living in Jerusalem right now."
Then Jeremiah received this Message from God:
"God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, wants you to go tell the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem that I say, 'Why won't you learn your lesson and do what I tell you?' God's Decree.
'The commands of Jonadab son of Recab to his sons have been carried out to the letter. He told them not to drink wine, and they haven't touched a drop to this very day. They honored and obeyed their ancestor's command. But look at you! I have gone to a lot of trouble to get your attention, and you've ignored me.
I sent prophet after prophet to you, all of them my servants, to tell you from early morning to late at night to change your life, make a clean break with your evil past and do what is right, to not take up with every Tom, Dick, and Harry of a god that comes down the pike, but settle down and be faithful in this country I gave your ancestors.
The descendants of Jonadab son of Recab carried out to the letter what their ancestor commanded them, but this people ignores me.'
"So here's what is going to happen. God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says, 'I will bring calamity down on the heads of the people of Judah and Jerusalem - the very calamity I warned you was coming - because you turned a deaf ear when I spoke, turned your backs when I called.'"
Then, turning to the Recabite community, Jeremiah said, "And this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says to you: Because you have done what Jonadab your ancestor told you, obeyed his commands and followed through on his instructions,
receive this Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel: There will always be a descendant of Jonadab son of Recab at my service! Always!'"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)