Compromise and ungodly influence affected one family and a nation for generations. Often, what you do in moderation, your children will do to excess! How are you influencing others, especially your children?
2 Chronicles 21 & 22
What You Do in Moderation, Your Children Will Often Do to Excess!
2 Chronicles 21 & 22:
The Off Ramp of Compromise
Can you imagine your brother-in-law becomes the king and the next thing you know there is a knock on the door. There are soldiers outside. They drag your husband out and kill him in front of you and the children! Then they head for the homes of your other family members!
That’s basically what Jehoram did to his brothers. Remember, although he made some mistakes, his father Jehoshaphat was considered a good king. But at the end of his life, he allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel and they went into business together. God didn’t allow that business to prosper. In fact, He destroyed it, but his son Jehoram ended up married to wicked Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. God had previously rebuked Jehoshaphat for his involvement with Ahab.
How do you suppose Jehoram and Athaliah met? Did Jehoshaphat take his little boy along as he went to Samaria on business? Did he and Athaliah play together as children? We don’t know, but somehow they ended up married and Jehoram ended up following the ways of his wife’s family. She eventually killed her own grandchildren so she could seize power after her husband’s and sons’ deaths! What a family heritage!
Compromise is costly. And it doesn’t just affect us. It affects those around us, especially our children. It’s been said, “What you do in moderation, your children will do to excess.” That is often the case.
Compromise is like an off ramp from the freeway. Once you get on it, you’re heading somewhere else. As believers we should flee—run in stark terror—from sin, worldliness, and anything that might lead us or others into disaster (1 Cor. 10.14, 8.13).
The Power of Influence
One other note to us as women, just like Athaliah, we wield tremendous influence within our families. We must be very careful how we use it, whether wisely or foolishly.
As we read a few days ago:
The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands (Prov. 14.1).
How will you use your influence? In wise ways for the glory of God or for selfish, sinful, foolish purposes?
Our Children: Accountable for Their Choices
While we are responsible before God not to be stumbling blocks to our children, to be wise about the example we set, and how we use our influence, our children are still responsible for their choices (Ezek. 18.1-20).
1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
3 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.
The passage goes on to talk about a righteous man who has an unrighteous son and an unrighteous father whose son sees what his father did and chooses righteousness. The passage ends with this verse:
20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
Today’s Other Readings:
Do Not Keep Silent, O God!
But the answer is in verse one. We His people should cry out to Him:
“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God!”
The Sovereignty of God
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
What a beautiful reminder of God’s sovereignty! No matter who is president, no matter what party is in power, no matter what is popular, or what the media has to say about it, God still controls the world, including our nation and our government. That should give us great comfort.
But just as our children can’t blame us for their choices, we can’t blame those in authority over us. We can’t excuse evil because it’s “legal,” especially in our own lives. We’re still responsible to speak the truth in love, to vote biblically as best we can, and to live righteously. We are to be faithful, then leave the results in God’s hands.
Some Will Mock, Some will Put It Off, but Some Will Believe!
Sometimes we’re tempted to think that people today are so much harder to witness to—what with medical science, evolution, false religions, and other worldly philosophies. But when you read about Paul as he spoke to the philosophers and worldly people of his day, you realize as Solomon said, there is truly nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1.9).
So no matter who we have the opportunity to share Christ with, we just need to speak the truth in love. It’s God who opens men’s and women’s hearts. Notice in today’s reading that some mocked him, and some said “I’ll think about it later,” but some believed (Acts 17.32-34).
Are there areas in your life where you know you’re compromising? Where could that off ramp lead in your life and the lives of others? Remember, “What you do in moderation, your children will often do to excess.”
We all have influence. How are you using yours—wisely or foolishly, for your glory or His?
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