1 Kings 16:34
“In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.”
I’m the oldest grandchild on my mother’s side. Now, those of you who share my position know instantly the perks this has to offer. You get to be the grandchild of ‘firsts’. This can be a double-edged sword so it is best to take advantage of this benefit only if you are positive this is a ‘first’ that the family would like to participate it. I recommend ruling out being the first of anything that includes: poison, the police (that goes for the actual 5-0 and the band), pit bulls and of course, decorative art featuring the paintball gun.
Another perk that comes with the territory is that all of the other grandchildren basically do what you want; pretty much when you want. Again, I’d like to clarify, it is best to be cautious with this kind of power.
On the norm my role as Mahoney Grandchild was one laced with responsibility and leadership. I organized countless backyard plays, doo-wop concerts, family newscasts, spontaneous pool parties and many late-night sleepovers. I did my job well. That is until my second- in- command, Danee, would pitch me an idea that, as the leader, I simply could not pass up.
Now, let me vouch on behalf of leadership skills and devious minds connecting: THEY ARE NOT A GOOD MATCH! Where I could plan and execute an idea in seconds…Danee could envision the youngest of us crying in the most creative of ways. Put us together and the youngest of us would find his or herself trapped within a well-planned trick.
Have you ever had a character trait of your own find its explosive match in someone else? Speaking from experience I know that when my leadership skills got around my cousin’s powerfully creative mind – things happened. And those things were not always for the better. Do you share a similar relationship with someone?
Perhaps you have a tendency to low self-esteem. You get yourself around a man who is all for a power trip and you may be on your way to victimized submission. Perhaps you may be the type who thrives on a fast paced, living on the edge lifestyle – get yourself around a guy who drag races after kicking back a few drinks and you may be on your way to one adventure filled death trip.
Sometimes relationship goes against the design God first had in mind. God’s relationship order is one that cultivates balance. Not one that mixes extremes, ending up with a recipe for disaster.
Ahab and Jezebel had such a relationship. The Word of God tells us “ Ahab…married Jezebel … and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.” Wow.
Something about these two – Ahab and Jez – went deeper than your normal sinful relationship. These two got around each other and things instantly took a turn for the very worst. As a matter of fact their sin ultimately led to the fulfillment of the Word of God, spoken through Joshua, in Joshua 6:26. Their oldest and youngest sons died because of their rebellion.
What are your volatile relationships costing you? Who is the Jezebel or Ahab in your life? Whom do you get around and instantly notice a change for the worse? I’d like to be clear that I am not talking about your average off days, where your best friend spills the newest gossip and you bite that bait up like a starved fish. I’m asking who fosters something negative in you. Or who brings out a character trait Christ would rather you check at the door? Is there anyone who puts you in moral danger? Are you falling prey to a very unhealthy relationship?
Sometimes the only remedy is cutting that connection loose or, with prayer, cutting the ties for a while. Asking Christ to realign your relationship. 1 Kings, my friend, absolutely drills home the need to live a life that serves the Lord – not the sinful desires that are ignited in unholy unions. We see here that when Jezebel, one pushy princess, got around Ahab, one corrupt king, sin happened and ultimately their children died.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to take part in anything that sets itself up against the holiness of Christ. Nor do I want to welcome needless sacrifice in my life – as we see so obviously in their royal story.
You may be wondering how we heed warning and pinpoint people we should not be united with. 2 Timothy 3:1 clearly alerts us, “Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people.”
We are wise to heed the Word and to take it to heart. The people of Israel had been warned. Before they had even made a request for a king to rule over them, the Lord had spoken plainly, ‘When you enter into this new land and meet up with men and women of other nations “Don’t marry them: Don't give your daughters to their sons and don't take their daughters for your sons—before you know it they'd involve you in worshiping their gods, and GOD would explode in anger, putting a quick end to you.” I wonder what would have happened in Israel had Ahab listened to this warning.
1 Timothy warns just as clearly: Do not be married to the ways of the world.
This week, I encourage you to pinpoint any areas in your life where you may see an unhealthy ‘marriage’. Whether it is in an actual relationship, in activity, in word, in thought – ask Christ to make your theme song one of love and justice; righteously married to The King.
Scripture from the Message Bible.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
Read more articles by Kristen Schiffman or search for articles on the same topic or others.