When families fight!

If there is fighting in the family, it is a sign that something is out of order with God.

April 30

Then the men of Ephraim gathered together, crossed over toward Zaphon, and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the people of Ammon, and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you with fire!”

Judges 12:1

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When families fight!

The book of Judges is often one of the hardest books for me to read. Judges describes to us what people do when they are not following God. It is set in the time immediately following Joshua leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land. God has kept His promises to bring them into the Land and to drive out the enemies before them. All they have to do is worship and obey God. Sadly, as soon as Joshua is gone, the people start doing what is right in their own eyes, rather than what God has commanded.

God warned them that there would be consequences for disobeying Him. One of those consequences was conflict from outside the nation of Israel. God allowed enemy nations to come in and persecute His people as a punishment for disobedience. Once they realized the error of their ways, God would raise up a judge to deliver them. In Judges 11 it was the Ammonites. God raised up Jephthah to save Israel.

That’s where the story takes a strange turn. Another consequence for disobedience; internal conflict. The tribe of Ephraim is angry because Jephthah didn’t call them to be a part of the great victory God won over the Ammonites. Jephthah responds by saying he did call them, but they chose not to respond to his call. That is not good enough for the tribe of Ephraim and there is a battle and Jephthah’s forces defeat the army of Ephraim.

What is sad about this is they are related; they are family. All of Israel is descended from the twelve sons of Jacob. This is not the only time we will see the family of Israel fighting and warring with one another. But why did it happen? Simply this; they forgot about their God! It is not that they totally forgot about Him, but they gradually cooled in their worship and obedience until God was no longer the restraining influence He had been in the past.

It is always sad when families fight. The reason is always the same as in our story here today. One or more people in the family has taken their eyes off the Lord and allowed their desires to override God’s will and commands. As Holy Spirit filled Christians, the fruit of the Holy Spirit should always be present in us. Love, joy, and peace are just a couple of those gifts.

If there is fighting in the family, it is a sign that something is out of order with God. The first step is to humble yourself before God and ask Him to forgive you for walking in your own ways. Turn back to Him and seek Him, and if necessary, find someone to help you get on the right path. There should not be fighting in the family of God. If there is, take it as a sign that the family is not where it should be. Jesus, Prince of Peace, bring Your peace to our families.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Daily Bible Reading: Judges 11:1-12:15; John 1:1-28; Psalm 101:1-8; Proverbs 14:13-14