God’s Commendation of Temperance
In the past two articles on this series dealing with beverage alcohol we have looked at some negative role models concerning alcoholic beverage. In this article I turn to a positive action by a whole family, and God’s commendation for thier refusal to drink.
This family is the family called Rechabites found in Jeremiah 35. This whole chapter deals with this family and makes the point of asking Judah why they do not obey God’s words, as Jonadab’s family has followed his commandments concerning wine and not abiding in one place.
The end of this chapter reads:
“And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever’” Jeremiah 35:18-19 (NKJV).
Yes, I know that part of this commendation is on their also following Jonadab’s commandment to be nomadic in their living. There is yet that commendation for refraining from the usage of wine or alcoholic beverage. The point I want to make here is that God is commending them.
When one begins to drink beverage alcohol he/she is placing themselves in the place of temptation. Who will be there to keep them from getting drunk? Who will be there to let them know when too much is too much?
Yes, I also know in reading this chapter in Jeremiah’s prophecy that God is stressing the point of obedience to Him. If men can obey their father like the Rechabites have why is it that the people of Judah cannot obey the commandments of the LORD?
Some will see this as a very weak argument. Maybe it is, but you get the point. If there is no word of commendation for the drinking of beverage alcohol, and there is commendation for temperance concerning beverage alcohol, by God Himself, then, which is the best Biblical alternative?
-Tim A. Blankenship