[From Sept. 13, 2012]
"The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, the hostility of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not be hostile towards Ephraim."
Sibling rivalries. The healthy ones have a deep & abiding love undergirding them. The toxic ones don't. Whether it's actual brothers/sisters... or coworkers... or teammates... or country-mates... this is something that abounds.
In the Old Testament, the 12 tribes of Israel split into two district groups: the North (Israel, sometimes also called "Ephraim") and the South (Judah). The North had the tougher times, as they had to be constantly vigilant against foreign invaders (they were a buffer for Judah in the south). Plus, Jerusalem was in the South, so the power center resided there. MAJOR sibling rivalries ensued. Extreme jealousy and hostility was rampant. It definitely was not healthy.
Isaiah 11:13 looks to the day when that will end and a healthy relationship replaces it. I can't help but pray that prayer in so many other places: in this country, as we near another election (have you seen the hateful things posted, tweeted, and said about one another?)... among co-workers who should be "on the same team"... among (wealthy) athletes, grumbling about the salaries of others... and in so many families.
LORD, heal us! Restore us! Renew us!