Announcer: Today on Okra, we will talk to three people whose sordid stories of family feuding have made them famous or should I say infamous?
First Voice: Yeah, hi. See, it's like this: I didn't exactly get along with my brother. Well, OK, that's an understatement. I killed him.
Second Voice (clears his throat): My uncle and I were business partners. Everything had been going along fine, but our herds were gettin' too big for the land. Besides, my employees and his employees didn't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. Neither did Uncle and I, really. We had to part company.
Third Voice: He never acted like he wanted it anyway. My brother, I mean. When I tricked his inheritance out of our father ... well, my brother went crazy. He woulda killed me if I hadn't skipped town.
Announcer: Three tragic stories. Today on Okra. Stay tuned!
Well, maybe you've figured it out. Okra's first guest was Cain, who killed his brother, Abel, in a fit of jealousy. The second voice belonged to Lot, who separated from his godly uncle at a crucial time in his life. The third guest was Jacob, who cheated his brother, Esau, out of his inheritance and his father's blessing, and had to run for his life.
But do you know the rest of their stories? Cain (Genesis 4) was banished far from his parents and lived the rest of his life in exile. Lot (Genesis 13-14, 18-19) thought he got a great deal from his uncle; he chose the finest land in the area, moved his flocks into the plains of Zoar, and settled in a doomed place called Sodom. Jacob (Genesis 25, 27-33) ran to a strange place called Paddan Aram, where he spent fourteen years in servitude to a man as devious and deceitful as himself.
Each of these individuals paid a high price for his inability to live in harmony and unity with others. That's the way it usually goes. People who can't get along with others usually succeed only in making things more difficult for themselves. Such people's lives become full of anger, strife, revenge, and all sorts of unpleasant things.
How much better it is when people live together in unity and harmony! Such people often experience the appreciation, kindness, and cooperation of others. They may never appear on Okra, but they understand that unity is better, nonetheless.
REFLECT: Do you agree that it's better when people live together in unity and harmony? Why or why not? Does the experience of Cain, Lot, or Jacob sound like any of your relationships? Why or why not?
PRAY: "I need your help today to live in harmony with..."