Hosea 4:1-19; 2 John 1:1-6; Psalms 124:1-6; Proverbs 27:12
NT: “The elder: To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth — and not only I, but also all who know the truth — because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever. Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. So now I ask you, dear lady — not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning — that we love one another. This is love: that we walk according to his commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: that you walk in love.” (2 John 1:1-6 CSB)
The letter of 2 John was, as it says in the introduction, written to a mother and her children – a family within the fellowship of believers. Some scholars suggest that the elect lady could have been symbolic of a church community and the children symbolic of the members of the community. Either way, the addressees of the letter were a family. The senior pastor of the church I attend often says that the church is a family in macro form, and a family is the church in micro form. The letter of 1 John was written to the church. The letter of 2 John was written to a family. Just as John instructed the church against the teachings of false and heretical teachers in his first letter, here he addressed a family and taught them how to recognize false teaching and remain in the truth.
Just as it is the duty of pastors and the elder body to keep heretical teachings and false prophets out of the church, it is the duty of parents to guard their home against the intrusion of heresies and false prophets. John commended this mother for having children that walked in truth by keeping the commands of The Father. John’s challenge and request to this believing mother was that she continue leading her family in the way of truth and to continue walking with the Lord in truth, in obedience, and in love – love for God, love for Christ, and love for one another.
Psalms: “If the Lord had not been on our side — let Israel say — if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, then they would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger against us. Then the water would have engulfed us; the torrent would have swept over us; the raging water would have swept over us. Blessed be the Lord, who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth.” (Psalms 124:1-6 CSB)
The psalmist of this song of ascent wrote, “if the Lord had not been on our side, we would have been destroyed.” As Joshua discovered in Joshua 5:13-14, it’s not so much about the Lord being on our side as it is us being on the Lord’s side. The Lord doesn’t take sides. As Jesus said, we are either for Him or against Him. When we choose to be on the Lord’s side, then He will be by our side and not allow us to be overwhelmed, overcome or destroyed. As John wrote, the Lord’s side is the way of truth and love. When we obey the Lord’s commands, walk according to His way and work with Him instead of against Him, we will be on His side and He will be by ours.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that Your “side” is the side of light, life, truth and love. I thank You that when I choose Your side and walk according to Your word, will and ways by faith, You walk by my side and are with me until the end of the age. As I grow in love and faith, help me to walk in love, truth and obedience. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.