The Bible is full of examples of believers who stumbled (some even fell away) because of the influence of family. Here I only want to focus on one: Jehoshaphat.
The life of Jehoshaphat is recorded in 1 Kings 22; 2 Kings 3; 2 Chronicles 17-20.
The highlights that set up the issue of “family” begin with his marriage to Athaliah, daughter of Israel’s wicked King Ahab; that made Ahab his father-in-law. DUH! And since sooner or later daughters always want to go visit their family, Jehoshaphat found himself at a Texas-like BBQ in Samaria. Ahab wooed Jehoshaphat at the feast and then dropped the punchline: Will you go with me to fight Syria/Aram and reclaim Ramoth Gilead? The family pressure was on! Jehoshaphat gave in and agreed.
The next highlight was the battle itself against Syria/Aram. Jehoshaphat had given his word to support Ahab and then had a prophet of God tell him, “The LORD has decreed disaster for you.” Ahab camouflaged himself by his clothing, but told Jehoshaphat to wear his royal robes in the battle. Foolish Jehoshaphat even agreed to that, which made him a sitting duck; all because Ahab was family.
Jehoshaphat escaped near death from the Syrians attack (they thought he was Ahab because of his royal attire) and then returned to his palace in Jerusalem. God wanted to make sure that Jehoshaphat knew just how foolish he had been, so He sent the prophet Jehu with words from the LORD. “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is on you.”
Dealing with wrath from the LORD all because he let “family” blind him.
Have you ever done the same thing? Have you ever let “family” blind you concerning what is right and what is wrong? Have you ever thought that something was wrong, but changed your mind when someone in your family fell into that sin?
I know a Christian mom who understood clearly the scriptural teaching that homosexuality is a sin. Then one of her children announced he was gay. Then suddenly homosexuality was ok; it wasn’t a sin any longer in her eyes. BLINDED BY FAMILY.
I’ve seen this blindness occur over pre-marital sex, adultery, drunkenness, stealing, cheating, etc. when it involved a family member. BLINDED BY FAMILY.
The scriptures are very clear on almost everything. Here are some examples.
Rom 1:26-32; 1 Cor 5:11; 1 Cor 6:9-11; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Tim 1:9-10; 2 Tim 3:2-4
When God’s Word says that something is wrong, that it is sin and that those who practice that sin WILL NOT enter the kingdom/heaven, then that is the truth and will not change even if it is one of your family members.
And if you or I change our understanding of God’s Word, simply because it condemns one of our family members, then we too are guilty and will not enter the kingdom either.
DO NOT ALLOW FAMILY TO BLIND YOU! If you do, then you might find yourself under the wrath of God like Jehoshaphat did. Live under God’s love, not under His wrath. God bless.
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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