6/11/16: Guilty by Association
One of my sons got in trouble at school one day. When he complained, insisting upon his innocence in the matter, I asked him why then was he the one in trouble. He said, “My teacher told me that I was guilty by association.” Aha! I agreed with the teacher because he had to learn to separate himself from wrongdoers. He was responsible for appearances, and if he hung out with the wrong crowd, he would appear as one of them and end up like them.
We read something about associations three times in Second Kings 9 and 10.
Rising to follow God: Elisha sent one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu as king of Israel, but he told the young prophet, “Now when you arrive at that place, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat… and go in and make him rise up from among his associates, and take him to an inner room. Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: “I have anointed you king over Israel…’”” II Kings 9:2-3 (NKJ). Receiving God’s call on our lives is an individual, private moment between us and God. Be careful to separate from associates long enough to hear His voice.
Running with wrongdoers: Once Jehu became king, his charge was to destroy the house of Ahab. Second Kings 10:11 tells us, “So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining” (NKJ). Running with the wrong crowd means we’ll end up getting what they get.
Respecting the wrong god: By God’s direction, the next thing King Jehu did was go after anyone in Israel who did not follow God. He told all the worshipers of Baal to assemble in the temple of Baal so they could have a great sacrifice to their god. The king even had them dress up especially for the occasion. He made it seem like they were going to have a great time. To complete the ruse, he even told them, “Search and see that no servants of the LORD are here with you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” II Kings 10:23 (NKJ). The surprise came a few verses later. “Now it happened, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, ‘Go in and kill them; let no one come out!’ And they killed them with the edge of the sword…” II Kings 10:25 (NKJ). It does not pay to worship any other god but God Almighty.
In all three mentions of associations in this part of Scripture, separation from certain associates at times and from other associates completely is clearly seen as necessary. If we insist on staying around people all the time, we can hinder ourselves from hearing the Lord’s voice, or we can hasten our own demise. Look at some additional wisdom from Scripture regarding associations:
- Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
- He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20 (NKJ)
- Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene… 2 Timothy 2:16-17 (NIV)
Let’s be careful about our associations and not be afraid to spend time alone associating with God.
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