2nd Chronicles 21:12-13. Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet, which said: “This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: `You have not walked in the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah. But you have walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and you have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did. You have also murdered your own brothers, members of your father’s house, men who were better than you.
The people that you are walking with is either pushing you to a stronger relationship with God or away from it. It is important that you stay away from the wrong crowd.
It seems pretty important to God that we have good friendships. The Bible is full of examples of this. Think about the amazing friendship of Jonathan and David. Jonathan warned David that his life was in danger at the hands of Jonathan’s own father, King Saul. This warning allowed David to take action and avoid harm, and ultimately this act of true friendship allowed David to take the throne, which was God’s plan.
The Bible describes true friendship as when one will be honest even when it hurts. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” This means that a true friend of yours will tell you what you need to hear, even if it hurts, instead of flattering you all of the time. I’ve definitely felt wounded by a friend, but it’s usually because I needed to be set straight about something I had done or planned on doing. Our friends care for us, and while we all want to make good decisions, sometimes we don’t. Perhaps that’s why intelligent people in powerful positions tend to surround themselves with trusted friends who can advise them.
Good friends will have a positive influence on you. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says that “two are better than one,” and goes on to tell how life is much better when you have a friend. I can’t even count the times over the years that I have sought to be a better person thanks to the example of trusted friends. In many ways we tend to lean on each other, learn from each other, and make better choices because of each other’s examples.
In turn, bad friends will have a negative influence on you. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that “bad company will corrupt someone with good character.” Many people make the mistake of associating with the wrong crowd, and it is one of the warnings parents give their children all through their developing years and even into adulthood.
The scripture today points us to Jehoshaphat. Even though Jehoshaphat was a righteous King, his son Jehoram who succeeded him, only did evil in the sight of God. The first thing he did when he became King was to kill all his brothers to prevent any of them succeeding him. He also made Judah worship idols. What could have led to this radical shift from that which his father did? He was walking with the wrong crowd: he chose to marry Athaliah, a wicked woman whose influence over him was evidently greater than that of his father.
Jehoram was a failure as a King; making the same mistake he did will produce a similar result.
Life Application: Reassess the quality of those that are in your inner-circle.
Prayer: Dear Lord, We thank you for all that surrounds us and for your love. We pray you will put the right people across our life’s path and keep guiding our footsteps as only you can. Lord we pray you will give us strength to live righteous lives and that you will allow us to inspire others to do the same fulfilling their mission serving you.