Today's Reading: 2 Chronicles 28; 2 Kings 16-17
Sibling rivalry is as old as Cain and Abel. Sometimes it is with our own blood that we fight. Judah and Israel are being attacked by neighboring countries, and yet, they still seem to find time to carry on a civil war.
Today's story, the king of Judah has been defeated by outside forces. Israel sees them weak and decides to jump in and get some of the plunder for themselves. As they sneak out of Dodge with riches and girls, they are met by Oded, the prophet of the LORD.
"How dare you steal from your brother!" proclaims the prophet. Oded, whose name means "restorer," comes in to initiate and intervention for the family of God. He stands like a mother between two defiant sons and says, "Just wait til your Father comes; he's going to be mad. You best restore what you have taken to your brother before he comes with punishment...go on...give it back."
Fortunately, the people of Israel listen and return their brother's goods.
I'm glad we didn't have to sit through a few chapters of "time out" dialogue before the inevitable took place.
Plundering the enemy is a bad thing. God does not like it.
Instead, God says, "Pray for your enemy; feed and clothe them; and while you are at it, pray for them. Your enemy is really your brother and....my dear child, it is often your heart that needs to be changed, not theirs."