I Chronicles 7:21-23 (NLT)
Ephraim's sons are killed while trying to steal livestock from the farmers near Gath. With limited information we could make many assumptions about this story.
We might first try to determine if the actions of these two sons are dishonorable. Even if you know very little of Scripture, most people might recognize Gath as the hometown of the giant that fought with David and was killed by his own sword after being felled by a small stone. You could then surmise that the actions of these two men might be honorable. They could be disrupting the enemy by making raids on their territory. If that were so, you might cheer them for their courage in facing the enemy.
Or, and this is more likely, they could be common thieves who are looking to get something for nothing. There would then be no honor in their deaths. Their death would bring great shame to their family.
So the question then would be, "what is this man mourning"?
Is he mourning the character of his sons and the embarrassment that their actions brought to the family name?
Is he mourning the loss of relationship with his sons due to the consequences of their sin?
Perhaps you a parent who is in a similar situation. Maybe your son has involved himself in a gang or is dealing drugs. You know that their actions may ultimately lead to their death and you feel powerless to stop them. Don't give up hope. God is able to change the circumstances. He may choose not to. Either way, as a parent, you can not live your child's life for them. But you can help. Intercede for them through prayer and fasting. Don't give up even if it appears that God is doing nothing. Continue to trust God that He has a plan and a purpose for their life even if it is a painful one.
There is comfort to be found in this difficult passage. First, there is no condemnation for the man in mourning for the death of his two sons. There is also no accusation that the father was responsible for their actions. It's OK to mourn for the loss of the child even if they paid the ultimate price for their rebellion. Do not feel guilty for grieving. Second, God replaced what was taken away from this man. After this tragedy, another son was given to him - Beriah.
What is this?
I start every day by digging into Gods Word. I try to journal what I learn so that I can remember it and apply His principles to my daily life. I challenge you to do the same.