My Favorite Proverbs: “One who Sows Discord among Brethren”
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
I frankly struggle a little writing about this today because coronavirus has had the unexpected consequence of many Christians actually getting closer to one another—if that’s even possible! I had a phone conversation with a brother today whose wife has broken her shoulder, and heard his voice break as he described the food and cards and calls and prayers from the family of God. There are three of our women in the church who are nurses and are taking regular turn-about dropping by to check the incision and bandages. Christians are a tight bunch.
This proverbial wording is easy to understand. We all know about Biblical analogies using farming, sowing and reaping. Seeds are comparatively small, but once planted and watered, grow into something much bigger. That’s good with watermelons, but it’s bad with sin. This Proverb is about sowing discord.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psa. 133:1)! What’s behind sowing discord among Christians in a congregation is usually less about the church and more about the person who sows the discord. For selfish reasons, one who sows discord is, probably without thinking, willing to forfeit unity that is good and pleasant in order to have his own way. Ironically, he is apt to jump into this sin without making an overt decision. It’s just that he sees something off-putting—something he takes personally—and shares his aggravation with other members. Perhaps it’s a disagreement with a difficult decision the elders have made about an expenditure or about a sad withdrawal of fellowship. Perhaps it’s about something bothersome that an elder’s wife said. Perhaps it’s simply a display of bitterness in his heart (see Ruth 1:20).
It is a great deal easier to fix this problem before words about the offense are spoken than after. So, the solution, while difficult, is simple today: Think before you speak (Ja. 1:19). My aggravation may actually need to be discussed, but have I chosen the right person for that discussion? Have I thought about my tone and the grace (or lack thereof) of my words? If I pondered this personal upset for a few days, would it seem to matter as much? Have I prayed about this matter?
A number of times in my life I’ve talked with elders and preachers after a church has fallen into sad disunion. Often, as with a burned, smoldering house in which the fire marshal finds the exact source of the flames it is easy for the leaders of the body to pinpoint the origin of the division. In view of Proverbs 6:19 which says God hates “…one who sows discord among brethren,” I wouldn’t want my name attached to this sin. Protect the unity of brethren. It is so very precious and can be lost in such a short time.
Family Bible Time from Glenn and Cindy–Joseph Finale
Quiz your kids in a game with the following questions. You can make a fun game in one of a variety of ways.
1)Use your Candyland board game and draw a question from the green bowl if you land on green, from the blue bowl if you land on blue, etc….If someone can’t answer the question, he forfeits his turn.
2.) Give each person a clipart picture of the coat of many colors (printable free from this site: http://clipart-library.com/josephs-coat-of-many-colors-coloring-page.html). Go around the room asking questions and each time a correct answer is given, the player gets to color in a stripe on the coat. The first one to have a fully colored coat is the winner.
3. Make a simple scavenger hunt. In each hiding place in your house, have a question and directions about where to look next. Example: 1. Look in the refrigerator. 2. (in the fridge)…What was Joseph’s father’s name? Now look on Mom’s bed. 3. (on Mom’s bed)…What did Jacob give to Joseph? Now look in your bathtub. Continue on with a dozen or so questions/places. If one person is stumped, let another person answer and continue on until he/she is stumped.
In the last hiding place, have a little “treasure-prize” for everyone who answered three or more correctly (or whatever number you think is appropriate.) A great treasure prize for this game is a bag of glow-in-the-dark stars for a bedroom ceiling (Joseph’s dream) or a little bag of twenty nickels or dimes (20 pieces of silver for the Midianites) or a basket with three cookies in it ( the baker’s loaves).
If you are particularly creative you might find colorful fabric pieces, like the coat, to tag the questions in their hiding places.
4. You can play Nerf Wars and if you get “shot,” you have to answer a question correctly to keep “living.” If you miss the answer, you’re “dead” (out of the game).
Whatever you play, a little prize is a great idea. In Family Bible time homes, parents learn to hoard little prizes. I think our grandson’s favorite prize of last week was an old wasp’s nest Glenn found under the eave of the house somewhere. (He could not wait to go home and scare his dad.) The prize can also be a privilege, like staying up fifteen minutes later than siblings or choosing the flavor of ice cream (if we ever get to go shopping again after COVID-19)
You can be more creative than we are and think of your own game. It doesn’t have to be complicated, of course. Our grandson played this with a jar of marshmallows this week. When a person answered a question right, he got a marshmallow. whoever had the biggest pile at the end, got to trade in his marshmallows for a little prize (or he could keep and eat the marshmallows.)
Here are the questions in three categories. You may not need them all, but we hope your kids can answer them all. You might want to look them over and make sure you’ve covered them all before beginning the game.
Tiny People Questions:
- Who had the coat of many colors?
- What did Joseph’s father give him?
- Who took care of Joseph?
- Who was in the pit?
- Who did Joseph obey?
- What colors were on Joseph’s coat?
- Did Joseph share with his brothers?
Middle People Questions:
- Who was Joseph’s father?
- Why did Joseph’s brothers not like him?
- Which brother did Jacob love the most?
- What did Joseph dream about the sheaves?
- What did Joseph dream about the stars?
- Where did the brothers put Joseph?
- What kind of animal did the brothers kill?
- What did the brothers do with Joseph’s coat?
- What did Jacob think happened to Joseph?
- Who bought Joseph to be a slave?
- In whose house did Joseph end up as a slave?
- What did Potiphar’s wife hold in her hand when Joseph ran out of the house?
- Where did Potiphar put Joseph after Mrs. Potiphar lied?
- What two people had dreams in Joseph’s prison?
- What was the baker’s dream?
- What was the butler’s dream?
- Who forgot about Joseph when he got back to Pharaoh’s house?
- What was one of Pharaoh’s dreams?
- What did the dreams of Pharaoh mean?
- Who, did Joseph say, could tell what the dreams of Pharaoh meant?
- Who did Pharaoh put in charge of storing up food in Egypt?
- Who got hungry and had to go to Egypt to get food?
- Joseph pretended that he thought the brothers were ______ when he was testing them.
- Who did Joseph tell the brothers to bring to Egypt if they came a second time?
- What did Joseph put in the sack of Benjamin?
- Why did Joseph send the servants to catchup with the brothers when they were going home the second time?
- What did Joseph invite the brothers to do at the end of the story?
Big People Questions:
- Which brother did not want to kill Joseph?
- Who help Jacob to mourn over Joseph?
- Why did Jacob not come to rescue Joseph after the brothers sold him?
- What reason did Joseph give when he refused to lie with Potiphar’s wife?
- Why did Joseph always end up having so much responsibility everywhere he went?
- What did the two prisoners’ dreams mean?
- What request did Joseph make of the butler?
- When did the butler remember Joseph?
- Tell what happened in each of Pharaoh’s dreams?
- What did Joseph have to do to get ready to go before Pharaoh?
- What rank was given to Joseph when he correctly interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh?
- How many times in all did the brothers go to Egypt?
- Which brother gave his own life as as surety for the safety of Benjamin?
- Why did Joseph cry when he hugged Benjamin?
- How many souls went down to live in Goshen?
- What were the two tribes that came from Joseph?
- Which of Joseph’s son’s was oldest?
- Which of Joseph’s sons received the biggest blessing?
- How long did Jacob live in Goshen?
Pray with your children.
Repeat the definition of true success: Living your life and going to heaven.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.