Moses’s father-in-law, Jethro or Reuel, was a Kenite. (Judges 4:11) The Kenites were not a Hebrew people. Some say that the Kenites were descended from Cain, but this cannot be. All people at that time were descended from Noah, who was descended from Seth, not Cain.
Some of the Kenites honored the Lord Jehovah and were friends of the Hebrews. An example is found in the Book of Judges where Jabin, king of Canaan, oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. (Judges 4:3) The commander of Jabin’s 900 iron chariots was Sisera. The Lord “discomfited” the Canaanites and Sisera fled. Jael, the wife of a Kenite, lured Sisera to sleep and then nailed his head to the ground with a tent peg. (Judges 4:15:21)
There was a Kenite named Rechab. The Rechabites were a family of non-Hebrew people that were friends and lived among the Israelites. You could describe this God-honoring family, the Rechabites, as having been grafted into the Hebrew family.
The son of Rechab, Jonadab, lived during the time of the Northern Kingdom kings Ahab and Jehu. Jonadab told his children not to drink wine, not to build houses, and other prohibitions. These were not Biblical requirements, but there was nothing wrong with them. The descendants of Jonadab were faithful to the prohibitions of their father.
For 250-300 years the Rechabites had been obedient to the command of Rechab. The Lord noted this in Jeremiah 35:12-14. He compared their obedience to the disobedience of His own people, the Israelites. Because of their steadfast obedience, the Lord promised the Rechabites that they would never fail to have a man that served Him. (Jeremiah 35:18-19)
This unique account is interesting for several reasons, one being the location in which it is told. It is found in Jeremiah chapter thirty-five. According to the Torah Pattern discovered by Brother J. R. Church, this is a Deuteronomy chapter, and is about Judgment and the Kingdom. Please click for Torah Designs in the Bible. I believe the account of the Rechabites is a picture, or type, of another group of “grafted-in” people – Christian Believers. The Apostle Paul writes to non-Jewish Believers that we, being wild branches, have been grafted into the domestic tree. (Romans 11:17)
The Torah Pattern indicates that Jeremiah chapter thirty-five looks toward the Kingdom and Judgment. I believe it is a wonderful promise to all who have been “grafted” into the family of God. In His future kingdom we will serve the Lord, or will never fail to have someone who serves the Lord.
The goodness, mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father is beyond human comprehension. Always praise His name, Forever!