Troubling One’s Own House
TROUBLING ONE’S HOUSEHOLD…
1. Trouble Defined:
a. To trouble; stir up; disturb…cause hardship and distress for another, implying social chaos from the interaction or situation.
b. Note: in some contexts there is a focus on the wretched state of distress that this oppression causes.
2. HOUSE: home; dwelling place; the inhabitants of the dwelling place; descendants; family; family affairs; the affairs of a household; etc.
• It can refer to one’s immediate family; to one’s tribe; one’s nation; one’s spiritual family; it is a broad term…
3. The term is used in the following passages:
a. Used in Gen. 34:30 – Simeon and Levi stirred up other tribes against the tribe of Jacob.
• 34:1 – Shechem lay with Dinah, the sister of the 12 sons of Israel, Jacob.
• To get vengeance, the sons of Jacob devised a plot.
• They told Shechem he could marry their daughter and that they would be one people, IF all their males would be circumcised.
• All the males in those tribes complied… and while they were sore, and unable to move, Levi and Simeon came and killed them all with a sword.
• Vs. 30 – as a result, all the people of Canaan land turned against Jacob.
• Hence, Jacob said that the actions of his two sons TROUBLED his whole household.
• Their dirty, conniving deeds stirred up trouble for the whole house of Jacob… turned everyone in the region against him.
• The Jews were viewed as strangers in a strange or foreign land. Their behavior would naturally be watched carefully. They should have been on their best behavior!
• Levi and Simeon troubled their whole house…what folly!
• Solomon warns about dastardly deeds that cause trouble for others… especially one’s own household!
• What a warning to us all.
» Think of how careful missionaries must be in a foreign land, before people of a different culture…people who look different than they do… behave differently…
» That missionary is likely going to be watched carefully… with a bit of healthy suspicion at first.
» If the actions of that missionary greatly offends the people to whom he was sent… or worse, if he should ever get caught lying or stealing from them… he has stirred up trouble against the whole missionary family… the whole missionary enterprise!
» It would be extremely difficult to win back their trust.
• Immigrants often have to deal with this issue…
» One in a group might commit an act that brings trouble on the entire community… smears the reputation of the whole community…
» It is wrong to judge the whole community on the basis of the actions of one—but that is human nature.
» The actions of a few troublemakers can bring trouble on the whole community.
» Don’t stir up trouble for your own household… for your own family, tribe, or nation.
• As Christians, we too are strangers in a strange land… pilgrims!
» Our behavior before the community will either be a testimony for the glory of Christ OR it can cause trouble for other believers.
» Sometimes one Christian group will be defiant before the city officials… refusing to follow the local ordinances… and thus, make trouble for the other Christian groups in the region!
» Our actions can stir up trouble for our own house… even for the household of faith!
» Our behavior should be such that our behavior does not disgrace, but enhances the doctrine we profess…
b. Used in Josh. 6:18 – Achan stirred up trouble for Israel by taking of the accursed thing.
• Achan’s sin stirred up God’s wrath against his own people!
• After the defeat of Jericho, God plainly stated that all the goods of the city were to be “accursed” — devoted to God.
• None of the goods were to be taken by individuals as spoils of the battle.
• God also warned that if anyone DID take of the goods, that they would make the camp of Israel a curse and TROUBLE Israel.
• Vs. 19 – the goods were to go directly into the treasury of the Lord.
• However, Achan disobeyed and stole gold and clothing and hid it in his tent…
• 7:1 – the disobedient actions of Achan stirred up God’s wrath against the whole nation—his own household…
• His own people had to suffer as a result of his actions.
c. Achan’s sin brought trouble on all Israel… his own people!
• Consider some of the sins mentioned in the New Testament epistles… and the trouble they stirred up for the household of faith.
• I Cor. 5:1—incest—imagine how much trouble that stirred up in the church at Corinth? In that man’s own family?
• The sin of divorce also stirs up trouble for one’s own family.
• Consider how much trouble alcohol stirs up in a man’s own home… coming home drunk… mistreating the wife and children… disgracing the family name…
• On and on it goes. Our sinful actions can easily stir up trouble for our own household.
• THINK about the ramifications of your actions on others before you act! That’s the message here!
• God’s answer for those who trouble others: 7:25!
• That’s what the one who stirs up trouble for his own people deserves!
d. I Kings 18:17-18 – the one who stirred up trouble tried to blame others.
• Ahab was an apostate that brought Baal worship to Israel. THAT troubled the nation!
• Had Ahab repented and turned the nation to the Lord, God would have BLESSED the entire nation according the promises of the Mosaic Law.
• Ahab’s immorality and apostasy instead brought about a lack of God’s blessing… and all kinds of trouble. (Deut. 28:15)
• Ahab wrongly assumed that the trouble they were facing (drought) was the result of Elijah…who opposed the prophets of Baal…
• Typical! Denial that he was the cause of the trouble… and he tries to place the blame elsewhere.
• Those who stir up trouble often like to the point the finger elsewhere… put the blame elsewhere…
• There will be those in the local church who also stir up trouble… and will never admit that the friction in the local church is the result of THEIR slander… their gossip… their bitter spirit… their divisiveness…
• What a foolish thing to do: stir up trouble in the local church. That is as foolish as stirring up trouble in your physical body—injecting your body with poison!
e. Used in Proverbs 15:27 – he that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house.
• Here is another instance of stirring up trouble for one’s own house.
• This seems to refer to a man’s immediate household… his wife and children.
• The man who is greedy of gain stirs up trouble for his own flesh and blood.
• Perhaps in his pursuit of material things—his family never gets to see him! Dad never has any time to spend with his kids! What trouble that brings to the kids. And if they are not properly trained, they could well bring trouble to dad in their teen years!
• Or the wife who is greedy, and piles up bills on the credit card—what trouble she is making for her household!
Inherit the wind
a. Strong’s: to have or get as a possession or property; to divide the land for a possession; to divide for a possession; to cause to inherit; give as an inheritance; to be allotted; be made to possess.
b. Used in Job 7:3 – made to possess months of vanity and wearisome nights.
2. Inherit the wind:
a. It’s hard to know for sure how to take this expression.
b. It could mean: the one who stirs up a little trouble for his own family or own people will end up creating a tornado or whirlwind—a disaster!
c. Or, it could mean: the one who stirs up trouble for his own will end up with nothing but air… an empty, vain life…
• This is certainly true in the case of men and women who stir up trouble for their households through infidelity, drug abuse, alcohol, theft, or some other crime for which they are caught…
• They may well bring their family to nothing… poverty…lose everything.
• I Sam. 25:17 – Consider Nabal—the fool. His foolish, drunken, selfish, belligerent behavior troubled his whole household… and were it not for his gracious wife, would have left him with nothing…
d. In a sense, we as believers trouble our own households if we do not set a good example for our children.
• We stir up trouble for our home if we engage in worldly behavior… if we neglect our spiritual life… if we forsake the assembly of the saints… if we neglect our family devotion time…
• If we don’t set a good example in the home, we are asking for trouble down the road.
• We shall inherit a storm before too long… you reap what you sow!
• Our behavior can bring either a blessing or a blight upon our family… our tribe… our people… our nation…
e. A house (family; nation; church; tribe) that is at unity with itself will flourish. A house divided will fall.
3. This man is a fool—and though he is higher in station, he will end up as a servant to those who may be lower in station, but are wise of heart…
• The master of the house, through stirring up trouble could PAY for his behavior — and end up as the servant of the house!
• We reap what we sow!