Today's devotion from 1 Chronicles 7.
It is hard to get a firm grasp on what is being said in verse 21. Most commentary I had studied believes that Ezer and Elead were killed while attempting to steal cattle. A few interpret this verse to mean that Ezer and Elead were killed by cattle rustlers from Gath, which is almost certainly not the Gath we often recall in Scripture. There are, however, two clues that cause me to lean toward the former interpretation instead of the later.
First, there is an interesting word here. The Hebrew word 'ki' is used and translated by most as meaning, "because." In this case, that would mean that these two were killed because they were stealing cattle. If they were killed during a raid, it would seem to make more sense to say something like, "they were killed by the men of Gath when they came raiding." Second, Ephraim is devastated. After he is consoled, his wife bears another son, and they name him, Beriah. The name seems to be related to a word that means, "evil" or "wicked." These clues make me think that Ephraim's sons turned to corrupt and wicked practices in their greed, and they paid the ultimate penalty for it.
Why is this important? I think this is very important because I know families who have been torn apart by children following self-destructive paths than ran counter to those walked by their parents. These parents loved their children, taught them to pray, invested in them, and provided for them. Yet, their children were led astray. I think this is important because it reveals the pain felt by these families is ok. I think this is important because it reveals that it is ok to move beyond that pain.
Following God should be a family journey. Parents are commanded to teach and train their children. Families are expected to prioritize their faith within the home. However, the decision as to which path one takes in life is left to the individual. You cannot make that decision for your loved one. When the people we care for make mistakes, it's ok to to be hurt. It's ok to grieve and mourn, but it's also ok to find joy and happiness again.