Probably in every culture, there are people who desire to live what we would classify as moral upright lives even amidst gross wickedness. There was such a family, the Rechabites that dwelt in tents and lived off the land as nomads in morally corrupt surroundings. Many generations earlier, they had been forbidden by their fathers to drink wine. They along with others had been driven from their land by the Babylonians and had taken refuge in Jerusalem.
As a test for the Rechabites and as an example of obedience for Judah, God sent Jeremiah to invite the Rechabites to the temple to drink wine. After being served the wine, “they said, ‘We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying…Thus we have obeyed…according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.’”
The Lord then directed Jeremiah to speak to the men of Judah using the example of the Rechabites as the basis for his admonition. Since Judah had not divested themselves of their idols, God would bring upon them the doom which He had pronounced against them. As for the family of Rechab, “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.”