Bible Order: Psalms 101–103
Chronological Order: 2 Kings 1-4
New Testament Only: Acts 7:1–23
A Sanitary Life
Well fellas, you can walk with God and try to set a good example for your children and still your children can be lost. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, had his good days and his bad, just like us. Unfortunately, he too often acted in worldly wisdom rather than godly wisdom. He arranged the marriage of his eldest son to the daughter of Ahab, the wayward king of Israel. Now as you recall, Ahab pushed the priests of God out of Israel and he and Israel followed the pagan gods. Is it surprising that a woman raised in pagan beliefs would draw her husband raised in godly beliefs away from God?
We see this happen time and again. What harm can there be in a godly person uniting with an ungodly person? I’ll tell you what; great misery and pain for generations to come. We, as followers of Christ, are to affect the world for Christ. You can’t do that if you are unequally yoked. We cannot invite the ungodly into our home and remain unaffected. If you marry an ungodly woman you are very likely to be drawn by her away from God. Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, married a Christian woman promising her that he would convert after their marriage. They married and he changed his mind. He did not convert. That godly woman was forever chained to an ungodly man.
Now I don’t know if Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s oldest son, was ever a “godly” man. We do know that he was married to an ungodly woman and the moment he became king he killed all of his brothers and some of the “princes of Israel”. I believe this act was urged on Jehoram by his wife, Athaliah, since once Jehoram and his son Ahaziah were both dead she “arose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah”, 2 Chronicles 22:10. Can you see her whispering in the ear of her husband and the ear of her son pushing them further and further toward evil? Realize that this woman murdered her own grandchildren! Can you imagine?
A doctor does not fight cancer by inviting it into his body. He will do everything he can to keep cancer away from his own body while he fights it in others. That is how we must be in this world as Christian men. We cannot allow the cancer of a lost and dying culture into our homes and lives. We should not go see movies that inflame our lusts. We should not allow vulgarity to air on our TVs in our homes. We should not allow people into our homes that would draw us away from God. This doesn’t mean we cannot show Christian charity to those in need but we cannot allow a long-term invasion of our home by those that would whisper in our ears.
Another cautionary tale from today’s reading concerns the one grandson of Athaliah who survived her treachery. This child, Joash, had been raised by Jehoiada the priest in the “house of God”. Joash was not even one year old when he found himself being raised by godly people in a godly environment. As long as Jehoiada remained alive Joash walked in godly ways, but the moment Jehoiada died he completely abandoned God and started serving idols. God sent prophets to call Joash back to Him but Joash had one of them, Zechariah, Jehoiada’s son, murdered.
We can do everything right and still have children that choose to walk contrary to God. It is heart breaking. My hope is that if, God forbid, such a thing happens that we will have lived our lives in such a way that we will feel no sense of guilt. If we have performed our role as godly fathers as we should have, and as best as we could, then a grown child’s choice to walk away from God is completely, and sadly, on their own head. We can and should mourn this loss but we should not take responsibility for it. If we have been where we were supposed to be, doing the things we were supposed to be doing, when we were supposed to be doing them, then we will have been good stewards of the children God placed in our care. When we live by that maxim then we will have nothing for which we should feel guilty.
We cannot control others but we can control ourselves. Such control includes controlling which influences we allow into our lives. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn away from God. You will face filth as you take Christ into a filthy world but keep it outside your spiritual body.
Have a spiritually sanitary day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 5/19/10)