Avoid a war between brothers at all costs! - 20 July 2021

By Ewald Schmidt

The Lord made a covenant with Abraham, that the Lord would be his God, that he would provide Abraham with his own land, and would bless him with numerous offspring. The nation of God was named after Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. After his battle with the Lord, Jacob was renamed Israel. The sons of Jacob made up the twelve tribes of Israel, with Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as half tribes each. They were supposed to be a nation of brothers, blessed by God so that they would be a blessing to the world.

In Psalm 133:1and 3 David writes, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! … For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.” David was intensely aware of the blessing that unity brings. From his perspective, he wanted to live in peace with all. But from King Saul’s side, and after his death and that of his family, there came jealousy and strife. After the death of King Saul, a civil war broke out between the followers of Saul and those of David. In this war, countless lives were lost. Bad seed was sown that would produce weeds for years during the time of King David’s rule.

If the nation had united after Saul’s death, under the rule of David, like the prophets had told them to, the nation would have been in a much stronger position. Stability and prosperity would have come much sooner. But when factional infighting becomes more important than the well-being of the nation, there will be tears.

It is safe to say that most of us are not kings. But, we have our own sphere of influence, our own responsibilities. These values also guide our lives. We are all part of something bigger than ourselves, be it our family or our church. Unity and co-operation bring greater reward than when each one is only looking after their own interests. Remember the admonition of Paul in Romans 12:14: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Be a peacemaker.

Prayer: Lord, we long for your blessing in our lives. We desire to live in peace with all men. But there is so much hatred and violence around us. Help us to be channels of your love and peace in this world. Help me to strive for unity and peace in your kingdom, to your glory. Amen