Proverbs 16: 28 A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends. (ESV)
Proverbs 16 talks in great length about dishonesty, pride, and those who stir up trouble. Yet, when I read verse 28, I’m struck with the imagery of that “still, small voice” or “low whisper” spoken of in 1 Kings.
1 Kings 19: 11bAnd behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. (ESV)
“A whisperer separates close friends.” I think every believer has lost friendships, even family members, somewhere along their faith journey; either from the whisper of the Holy Spirit, prompting them to believe the claims of Christ–despite, or even in opposition of their family or friends views; or from the whisper of their own doubts, questions, or emotions, prompting them to walk away. This too was foretold in scripture:
Mark 13:12 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (NLT)
“. . . the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Take heart: faith, belief, even life itself—they are all a journey, not a destination. For in this life, you will never “arrive”. You may never “achieve”. Even death is not the end. (2 Corinthians 3:6b: “. . . but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.”)
Whether near or far from God; whether walking towards, walking away or walking alongside: Journey on dear friend; for the journey is the thing itself. Your destination awaits.
Luke 6: 22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. (NIV 1984)