“Because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.” —1 Kings14:13.
I want you first to consider the very singular fact which you cannot understand, that holy children should be often placed in ungodly families. God’s providence has arranged it so, yet the consequences are painful to the young believer. You would think that if God loved a child he would not suffer it to be born unto Jeroboam’s court. Why is this?
Well first they are God’s protest against sin where no other protest would be heard—a tender touching message from God to let the ungodly know that there is something better than the sin in which they wallow. Holy children are as angels and demons, by their innocence rebuking sin. Does not God send children there also to make a display of his divine grace, that we may see that he chooses whom he wills and takes one of a family according to his good pleasure? Does he not also show us that he can keep grace alive in the most unlikely places where all things war against the soul? The grace of God can live where you and I would die. The life of grace can continue under conditions, which threaten death. Some of the brightest and most gracious people have been found where there was nothing to keep them, but everything to hinder them. Does not the Lord permit this to show what his grace can do? and is it not intended to be an encouragement to each of us to be faithful? for if this dear child could be faithful to God with such a father and mother, and in such a court, ought you and I to be afraid? Oh, you big man, let a child shame you—you were afraid to speak out before your work-mates the other day!
Is it not remarkable how God distributes his people, as we scatter salt? He sets one of them down in each den of evil. Saul the king is a great rebel against God; but close at his side is Jonathan: thus the sweetest flower that ever bloomed is found growing near the roughest bramble that could be found. What a sty of filthiness was the court or Ahab! and yet he had for his chamberlain Obadiah, who hid the servants of God by fifties in a cave, and fed them from Jezebel’s table; Nebuchadnezzar must not be left without three holy champions who can go into the fire for God. Look at Belshazzar drinking wine out of the cups of the sanctuary, and yet a Daniel is employed in his court. Even in the court of Ahasuerus, Esther is placed to confront that wicked Haman. Oh, I think there is never an Uz without a Job, nor a Chaldea without an Abraham, nor a Sodom without a Lot, nor an Egypt without a Moses, nor a house of Eli that has gone astray without some little Samuel sent of God to bear his protest. Think over the ways of God to man and admire what you cannot understand. CH Spurgeon