1 Kings 14:30-31
There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. And Rehoboam rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. And Abijah his son succeeded him as king. (NIV)
After Solomon died, Rehoboam was able to hold on to only two of the twelve tribes of Israel. The other ten tribes went with Jeroboam. So, Jeroboam and Rehoboam did the natural thing that brothers do, they fought.
Unfortunately fighting has become the natural thing to do in humanity. We know this sad truth from the history of all nations and from our families, our workplaces, and tragically, even our churches.
That’s why the words of Jesus are such a relief to so many people. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and he taught, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:9, 44) Jesus possessed all power, but he never used it to harm anyone or make people submit to him. Jesus used his power for positive results in peoples’ lives. The habit of peace was one of those positive positions he held to.
You may have heard or read this antidote before: A couple at their 60th wedding anniversary celebration was asked the secret to their long marriage. The husband said, “Well, when we married, we made a deal: I would make all the major decisions, and she would make all the minor decisions.” Then the wife added, “And in 60 years, we’ve never had to make a major decision!” I guess the truth is that throughout all those years both husband and wife were committed to peaceful decision making in a major way.
Are you in a lifelong, habitual disagreement with someone? Lay down your arms and pray. With God’s help, you can be a peacemaker and your Thanksgiving can have special meaning.
Father as a gentle shepherd, with your rod and your staff, guide me in your strength, comfort me, and lead me into the ways of your peace always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.