Friends and family
Ecclesiastes 4: A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
There’s power in relationships. I’ve heard it said that some people are “married to their jobs.” That is, their work is the most important thing in their life and because of that the most important relationship in their life has suffered. The writer reminds those with type “A” personalities that relationships are what make life worth living. A person who gives everything up to climb the cooperate ladder is chasing after smoke, wasting their life. Accomplishments are worthwhile only when there’s someone with whom to share them. Also, family and friends help us get up again after life has knocked us down. There’s more to life than work, position, and financial rewards. In fact, these potential blessings can become a curse if they dominate our lives. Our most valuable possessions are our relationships. The greatest mistake a person can make is to neglect and lose the real “gold” of life for some job or due to an unhealthy devotion to the ladder of success.
Take Away: Our most valuable possessions are our relationships
2 Chronicles 22: And Jehu killed him.
The stories of the kings of Israel and Judah don’t always leave us feeling encouraged and uplifted. There’s a whole lot of ugly stuff and even when we read devotionally we don’t come away with anything like a cup of sugar! Jehu’s role in the story is an interesting one. He’s called to be God’s avenger. Because of Ahab of Israel’s wickedness Jehu’s given the job of hunting down and killing all his family. Now, Ahaziah becomes king of Judah and he stupidly follows in the footsteps of his father. Rather than looking to his grandfather, Jehoshaphat, for an example he connects himself to Ahab’s clan and, in the words of this passage, “attended the sin school of Ahab, and graduated with a degree in doom.” That puts him on the radar screen of the man who’s mainly been concerned with cleaning up the wickedness associated with the throne of Israel. Now, as the king of Judah enters into the orbit of Ahab, Jehu takes note. When he has the opportunity God’s executioner corners Ahaziah and kills him. As I said, some of these stories don’t make us feel all warm and fuzzy! Ahaziah foolishly associated himself with the wrong people, was then counted as one of them, and then paid the same price that they paid. A take away from this less-than-encouraging passage is that we’d better be careful in choosing our best friends and who we allow to influence our lives.
Take Away: Choices have consequences.