- Feuding bloodlines–children and grandchildren, rivalry passed down through generations. Genesis 25.
- A king’s pride at stake, in fact, the leadership of every household hinged on Xerxes’ treatment of Queen Vashti. She was banished for fear she would be an example to other housewives for her disrespect of her husband–that her contempt and anger would spread. Esther 1.
- Paul is imprisoned as a troublemaker. And while no one can back their accusations further, he stays in prison for several years. Acts 24.
- Jesus also speaks of division: nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom. Matthew 24.
9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. Matthew 24:9-10 NLT.
Paul is imprisoned, and for no good reason–but God works things out for good, what man means for harm. I am reminded of this in life, frequently–God’s good in the difficult things. Sometimes it takes a lot of searching to find the silver lining in a problem. Sometimes it’s sweet grace that gives understanding. And sometimes there is only wondering and waiting. Paul’s words are the underscore of a friend’s recent truth-telling to me: do the right thing.
16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people. Acts 24:16.
It’s advice that hits in hindsight too often. I’m working on it.
This week’s spiritual bootcamp has been painful as I’ve faced issues that stirred up anger.
Father, I’m thankful for scripture that spells it all out: that there is discord in families and in the world, but we are called to live lives that honor you. Thank you for your light, and good truth-telling friendships, to bring about change in my heart. Thank you for examples of real-life people who’ve struggled with the same feelings I have. Thank you for grace and forgiveness, that you don’t forsake me on tear-stained, foot-stomping days. And that you settle my soul for a good night’s sleep after a really tough day.