Devotions

Sibling Rivalry

February 28, 2020
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“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 (NIV)
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{Editor’s Note to our audio devotions listeners … although we highly value the audio translations of our devotions, we wanted you to know we will be pressing pause on them for an indeterminate amount of time, effective March 2. Please know this is not a permanent decision. It is our intent to revise this service as soon as possible. We will let our devotions audience know when audio will be available again.}

I remember when my boys were little. There were days I felt more like a referee than a mom.

My little one was usually the instigator, egging his big brother on, but it takes two to tango, right? So, when it looked like there was no end in sight, I would step in.

“Okay boys. Enough is enough.” I’d make them repeat after me: “… how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” (Psalm 133:1, ESV).

Yes, I was that mom. I made my kids quote Scripture at the most inopportune times. But I was determined — my kids will get along, whether they like it or not.

And you know what? It worked. My boys stopped fighting! The Word of God is not only powerful, but it’s also a great distraction. Of course, they would then be temporarily annoyed at me instead of each other.

The Old Testament is filled with sibling rivalry drama and examples of how not to treat your brother. Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers.

But in the book of Exodus, we come across Miriam, Aaron and Moses, a set of siblings who, for the most part, got along.

When baby Moses was sent into the Nile, it was his sister Miriam who waited by the bulrushes to ensure his safety. Decades later, Moses and his brother Aaron worked side by side, leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery … together!

But life wasn’t always sunshine and roses for these three. Like most siblings, they also had their moments. Remember the golden calf? Moses was furious when he came down the mountain and saw what his brother had done. What was Aaron thinking?

Then, in Numbers chapter 12, Aaron and Miriam spoke against Moses. They had an issue with his authority (Who died and made him boss?) and with his wife’s ethnicity (she was a Cushite, not an Israeli).

As a result, God struck Miriam with a skin disease. Aaron cried out to Moses in Numbers 12:11b, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed” (NIV).

Friends, this would have been the perfect “I told you so” moment. But Moses held his tongue and prayed for his sister instead.

Moses chose to turn a bad situation into one of restoration and healing.

Centuries later, David mentions Moses’ brother Aaron in a beautiful psalm about brotherly fellowship and the blessing of unity. “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore” (Psalm 133:1-3, NIV).

Perhaps you are in the thick of parenting (or caring for some “less mature” people in your world), and there are days where you feel more like a referee than a mom … you are not alone! Or maybe your kids aren’t the only ones at odds with one another. Sadly, family or other relationship drama can last decades.

I won’t pretend to understand every disheartening situation out there, but I do know what God says about our situations, through David in Psalm 133. May we always do our part and strive for unity. It’s good, it’s pleasant, and God’s blessing is there.

Don’t give up, my friend. Even the best of relationships have their moments. And there is hope for even the worst of relationships. Be that mom, that sister, that girl. It’s never too late to speak and pray the blessing of Psalm 133 over our relationships.

“For there the LORD bestows His blessing ...” (Psalm 133:3b).

Father, You know each and every relationship struggle we face today. We ask that You bring restoration and divine unity where there has been discord. Let our thoughts and words be led by You. I pray we always do our part and strive for unity. We speak and pray the blessing of Psalm 133 over hurting relationships. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (NIV)

Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES

Sometimes it’s easier to believe what God says about Himself and not believe what He says about us. That's why we've created Truths for When You Question Who You Are, a free resource to help you interrupt the endless cycle of lies the enemy throws at us with the Truth of God’s word. Click here to download!

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REFLECT AND RESPOND

Think about a relationship in your life which you would like to see God restore. Perhaps you’ve tried to make amends, but it seems like no progress has been made. Don’t give up. Begin speaking and praying Psalm 133 over that specific relationship.

We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, and let us know how we can pray for you today.

© 2020 by Binu Samuel. All rights reserved.

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