Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail to have a descendant to serve me.’”

Jeremiah 35:19 (NIV)

As I’m reading through Jeremiah this year I’m really enjoying myself. Each day when I come to read I’m excited for what the Lord might bring to me and I’m thankful to be able to share it with you. My daily devotions have become like the best Bible study ever, every day! I always appreciate your comments and hope that you are learning as much as I am.

This verse in Jeremiah stood out to me today because of God’s promise to the Rekabite family. I believe what God said and I wondered if the descendant who was alive today knew from whence he or she came. I didn’t find what I was looking for in that regard but I did find some interesting organizations that have sprung up trying to adhere to abstaining from alcohol such as the Independent Order of Rechabites.

The other thing that grabbed my attention regarding the Rekabite family was the person who they were obeying. Jehonadab son of Rekab. You might recall when Jehu was exacting the Lord’s vengeance upon the family of King Ahab, back in 2 Kings, he swung his chariot by Jehonadab and invited him to share in his zeal for the Lord (2 Kings 15-16). Jehonadab told his family to never drink wine, build houses, sow seed, or plant vineyard 200 years earlier and they obeyed him. What’s even cooler about that is their obedience got the attention of God who told the people of Judah, “Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me'” (Jeremiah 35:14 NIV). Because of the Rekabite family’s obedience to their forefather they were blessed by God to always have someone to serve Him.

The first commandment with a promise is to “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12 NIV). That’s what comes to mind when I look at the Rekabite family. Because they honored their forefather by obeying him there’s always going to be someone around to serve God. We might not always agree with our parents, but we can still honor them because without them we wouldn’t be here. Imagine the blessings on our family because we have honored our parents!

Sometimes it’s easy to read through the Bible and not notice something because there’s so much going on. Such is the case, I believe, with the resurrection story in John.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

John 20:6-7 (KJV)

I want to clear up something that I’ve heard here about the “napkin” that was wrapped around Jesus’ head and left sitting there by itself. You may have heard it said that the cloth was left folded up because it was a message from Jesus that He was coming back. Allegedly, there was a Jewish “custom” in which the master of the house would toss his napkin down after eating to signify that he was done with the meal. However, if the master left the napkin folded then that meant he was coming back. Even if you’ve heard this from the pulpit it’s wrong. There never was such a custom and the use of the word, “napkin” in the King James, and other versions are a translation of the Greek word, “soudarion” which is a cloth that was used as a handkerchief or wrapped around the face of a corpse for burial.

However, I do believe that there are a couple of reasons that the linens were left lying on the ground and the soudarion where Jesus’ head had been. If someone had broken into the tomb to steal Jesus’ body they wouldn’t have unwrapped Him first. Whether or not someone was moving the body out of a conspiracy or stealing it for some other reason, they’d still have to put it somewhere if it were a dead body. The other reason for leaving the linen and soudarion behind is that Jesus didn’t need them anymore.

I shouldn’t be bothered by it but something does bother me about this urban legend and that’s the idea that some people might need to believe in a sign such as a folded napkin to believe that Jesus is coming back. I can only imagine someone saying to Jesus, “I knew you were coming back because you folded up your napkin.” I don’t believe like some do, that the Bible has hidden meanings and messages in it. It doesn’t fit with the character of God and it’s not logical. When God has told us exactly what we need to do for salvation and we still don’t do that, why would He ever put in secret messages and the like to a people who are already confused enough as it is?

I suppose we are all culpable when it comes down to believing some urban legends and desiring signs and wonders. Even though I know that God isn’t the Wizard of Oz, I still have to be careful to not try and make something out of nothing. I know that there’s no such thing as coincidence and because of that knowledge I’m always looking for the hand of God in everything I see. What I think I need to remember is that while God’s hand is in everything, not everything is the hand of God.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.