Blood is thicker than water is a familiar proverb. This saying was published in a book of English proverbs in 1640 and may go back as far as the Romans. This saying refers to relationships. Many times, we feel a greater obligation to our blood relatives than we do to non-family members.
Tobiah Influences His Blood Relatives
Tobiah had relatives in high places in Jerusalem and tried to use his influence to stop the building of the wall. Nehemiah 6: 17 During those fifty-two days, many letters went back and forth between Tobiah and the nobles of Judah. 18 For many in Judah had sworn allegiance to him because his father-in-law was Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan was married to the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 They kept telling me about Tobiah’s good deeds, and then they told him everything I said. And Tobiah kept sending threatening letters to intimidate me.
We can see that the nobles’ relationship to Tobiah was stronger than their relationship to Nehemiah. These nobles were willing to undermine God’s work because they felt a family obligation to Tobiah. Perhaps the nobles didn’t think Nehemiah would succeed. Or perhaps family ties blinded them to Tobiah’s deception. Either way, as the nobles sided with Tobiah, they were inhibiting God’s work.
Are Our Blood Relatives More Important Than God?
It is easy to point fingers at these nobles, but do we do similar things? Are the opinions of family members more important than obeying God? We must be grounded in Scripture to discern truth and motivation in our relationships.
Jesus spoke to the priorities in relationships. Matthew 10: 37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.
Take time to access your relational priorities this week. Is there a human relationship that is more important than your relationship with Jesus? Pray that God would reveal truth to you. To hear more how blood is thicker than water, listen here: