Jeremiah 35:11 NKJV But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, ‘Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians.’ So we dwell at Jerusalem.”
Jeremiah had been sent by the Lord to a visit with a sect of people known as the Rechabites, to learn and gain an example about faithfulness and obedience. These people were a nomadic people that believed in a simple life. One of their ancestors, Jehonadab, had commanded that his descendants must never build houses, plant crops or vineyards, and never drink wine or marry anyone who had. These people followed the Lord and kept Jewish law, having originally entered Palestine with Israel as descendants of Jethro. It was their strict adherence to the commands their ancestor Jehonadab gave them that Jeremiah was to glean from his visit and use as an example to minister to His people in Judah and Jerusalem about being committed to follow and obey His commands. They are a pretty interesting people to read about, but that’s not our purpose in these devotions. We’re talking about living fearless.
Being a tent dwelling, nomadic people they knew they were defenseless against the Chaldean and Aramean armies as Nebuchadnezzar’s troops were invading their land, so they fled to Jerusalem where they could find protection when the armies approached. They were afraid for their lives, so they went to a place that they would be welcomed and find safety from the fears that assailed them. The fears of things going on in the world around them drove them to dwell in the safety of God’s people in Jerusalem.
Today many Christians live like the Rechabites. They live spiritually nomadic lives, never allowing the Lord to plant them in a local church where their roots can grow deeply and they can find themselves in a place of safety and protection in the midst of other Believers that will stand with them through the trials of life. However as the world continues to become an increasingly “scary” place to live, we will see more and more Believers who have wandered away for various reasons returning to the local church. In addition there will be people who don’t know Christ but are fearful and seeking answers to what they see, who will flee to the local church for ‘sanctuary’ from the world. When they do will they find the security they are looking for and the safety that they need?
As the Church, are we fortifying our local assemblies with faith and reliance on God’s Word? Are we training up others to walk boldly in the knowledge and confidence of their victorious nature in Christ? Or will they find a passive people, just as overcome with fear as they? Colossians 2:13 tells us that at the New Birth we were, “made together with Him.” Ephesians 2:6 says we’ve been raised up together with Him and made to sit together with Him at the right hand of the Father God. The Church is called to fearlessly reign and rule in this life. We are called to stand in the reality of who we are and be a place of safety, support, stability, and schooling for those in wandering through the desert. The world and “nomadic Christians” are looking for a place of protection and refuge from the fears of life, will you help them find it. The local church is supposed to be this place. Is yours? I’ll close with a phrase the Lord spoke to me in February, 2015. “Rise up! Take your place. Pick up your mantle. And be the people of the Spirit the world needs and the devil can’t handle.”