A Man's Foes


Life can get trying at times. Some of these times have to do with family. The Lord said, “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” (Matthew 10:36). In Israel’s history, the Lord was aware of this fact. When the children of Israel had come to Mount Sinai, Moses had gone up onto the mount to receive the Law: “when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To-morrow shall be a feast to Jehovah. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play” (Exodus 32:1-6).

When Moses came down from the mount, and seeing that Israel had corrupted themselves, and “broken loose, (for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies,) then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Whoso is on Jehovah’s side, let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men” (Exodus 32:25-28). Concerning this event, Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought a great sin upon them?” (Exodus 32:21). Whether this was a legitimate question, or Moses expresses it rhetorically, Moses’ amazement was evident.

Nevertheless, concerning the immediate call and response of the Levites, the Lord said, “Who said of his father, and of his mother, I have not seen him; Neither did he acknowledge his brethren, Nor knew he his own children: For they have observed thy word, And keep thy covenant” (Deuteronomy 33:9).

If Moses had said to you, “Whoso is on Jehovah’s side, let him come unto me,” and required you to slay your father, mother, sister or brother, would you have immediately responded, or would you have responded at all?

Jesus said, “Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother-in-law: and a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:34-39). Ross Triplett, Sr.