Jeremiah 35-41; Ishmael in Your Home

God tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 6:14) Many believe that to apply to marriage, which it does. But Paul wasn’t even talking about marriage when he said it. You get his full message when you read on:

What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Can light and darkness exist together? Do Christ and Satan live in harmony? Do believers have anything in common with non-believers? Does the Church agree with idolatry? (from 2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

In fact, God says: Come out from among them and be separate… (verse 17)

I thought of that when I read that Governor Gedaliah got chummy with Ishmael. Even the governor’s advisors saw past Ishmael’s fake smile, and warned Gedaliah that Ishmael was up to no good. But Gedaliah said, “No way! We’re BFF’s! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.” (Jeremiah 40:16)

Do you find yourself with the same attitude? “Hanging out with non-believers won’t hurt me.” “Marrying an unbeliever won’t effect my walk with the Lord.” “Accepting half-truths, or tolerating outright lies about Scripture won’t weaken my commitment, or the Church.”

Allowing himself to get close enough to Ishmael that he trusted him more than his own advisors, wound up killing Gedaliah. Getting too close to ungodliness will destroy us, too.

Come out from among them!

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get to know non-Christians in order to share the Savior with them. We are all told to go and make disciples. Paul said he became all things to all people in order to win some of them.

But I believe God would have us examine who are the people closest to us. Who do we trust, confide in, fellowship with? Are they grounded in Scripture, walking with the Lord, holding us accountable? Or are they people who don’t believe like we do, and don’t have an interest in our relationship with God?

Are we trying to get light and darkness existing together? Are we trying to make Jesus and Satan get along?

Gedaliah got close to someone who only wanted him dead. Do you realize Satan wants the same thing of you? Gedaliah died because he blindly trusted an enemy of God. Do you understand that anyone who does not believe in Jesus is God’s enemy, too?

Being yoked in marriage, socially, politically, at the job, or at the gym, with unbelievers is like inviting Ishmael into your home. It’s the same fatal mistake Gedaliah made.

Choose your friends wisely, dear one. It could be a matter of life and death.

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