It is a foolish thing to try to hide from a blind man. That almost sounds like a foolish statement in itself, doesn't it. Hiding from a blind man should be easy. But when that blind man is a prophet of God, the possibility of hiding becomes impossible. That is what Jeroboam and his wife learned the hard way.
Ahijah had a somewhat limited ministry as a prophet of God. He was the one God sent to Jeroboam to tell him about how the LORD was going to make him king of 10 of the tribes of Israel. But soon after he gave this prophetic word to Jeroboam and it came to pass - Ahijah was left out of the kingdom and its ways. Jeroboam decided that God's promise to make him king was not true - and that rather than possibly lose "his kingdom" (actually it was God's kingdom entrusted to Jeroboam) by having the people continue to worship God in Jerusalem - he would make his own gods. From that moment until God confronted Jeroboam, Ahijah was puhsed out of the way. "Why would my kingdom need a prophet of Jehovah now," Jeroboam thought.
But the day came when Jeroboam needed a true prophet of God. The day when his son was very sick. But he didn't want to humble himself before God to ask - so he decided to disguise his wife to go ask. She would take a present with her to give to the prophet - and then ask if her son would live. No one needed to know it was the king's son - they just needed information.
What a disconcerting thing it must have been for the queen to have Ahijah greet her when she came to him. "Come in, wife of Jeroboam, why do you pretend to be another woman? For I am sent to you with a harsh message."
Even more difficult for her was to hear the message that God had for her husband who thought that he could hide from God's prophet - and honestly - who must have also forgotten that He could not hide from God either. Here was the message God had for this king who preferred a god of his own making rather than the living and true God.
"Go, say to Jeroboam, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over My people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you—yet you have not been like My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only that which was right in My sight; you also have done more evil than all who were before you, and have gone and made for yourself other gods and molte n images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back—therefore behold, I am bringing calamity on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male person, both bond and free in Israel, and I will make a clean sweep of the house of Jeroboam, as one sweeps away dung until it is all gone. Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs will eat. And he who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat; for the LORD has spoken it. Now you, arise, go to your house. When your feet enter the city the child will die. All Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam's family will come to the grave, because in him something good was found toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. 1 Kings 14:7-13 (NASB)
Jeroboam, who thought he could "pull one over" on the blind prophet of Jehovah - quickly learned that the only blind people involved in this situation were him and his wife. They had turned a blind eye to the Word of the Lord - deciding that the whole theological future of Israel involved nothing more than which "god" they would decide to make to secure the kingdom for themselves. What they learned is that the kingdom never belonged to them. They were simply given stewardship over it by God to rule it for the honor and glory of God. They also learned that they had far worse problems than a sick son. Their lives were so ungodly that God was going to take the boy to Himself so that they would not destroy him with their ungodly living and teaching. In Him alone was there found something good in the house of Jeroboam - and God was going to reclaim him before that was erased by the ungodly influence of his father.
But Jeroboam's wife - and then Jeroboam himself - were about to learn that God's eyes had not been blind to what was happening in Israel. He knew about their unfaithfulness to Jehovah. He knew about their idolatry. He knew everything - because that is the funny thing about an omnisicient God - He does know everything. He sees even though His prophet may be nearly blind.
So what do we take away from this historical account? First we need to learn it is the height of foolishness to play "hide-and-go-seek" with God. He sees you - and He will not only know where you are physically hiding (honestly Adam and Eve in the garden should have taught us that already) but he knows everything you think you are hiding from Him in your heart. That is where things get very scary for us. You see the second thing we need to understand is that God knows our hearts. He knows every thought, every action, even every hidden motive we think only we know. He knows them all - and they all are subject to His Law and commandments. As Romans 2:6 reminds us God, who has a day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God - "Will render to each person according to his deeds." That does not end well for us - becasue our deeds will show that we fully deserve the wrath and judgment of God for our sin. We cannot hide it - any more than Jeroboam's wife could hide her identity from God. So what are we to do?
This is where the comfort of the Gospel of Jesus Christ steps in to our lives. Our works will NOT stand in the day of Judgment and wrath of God. One sin will spell our doom for that sin will deafen all arguments with its cry for our punishment according to God's holy standard. Thanks be to God though that He has shown His great love for us by having that penalty fall upon His Son at the cross. It was there that God poured out His wrath and punishment for sin upon Jesus - and in that moment sin was paid in full (the very words of Jesus as He died - "It is finished" - an accounting term meaning , "PAID IN FULL."
Where does this put us now? Well - it puts us in a place where we desperately need the mercy and grace of God. It puts us in a place where we need to stop playing "hide-and-seek" with our sin. We need to come out of hiding and step fully into the light of God. It won't be a pretty moment at first - the fullness of our rebellion and sin in the light of His holiness. But it can be a glorious moment as we not only abandon our hiding games - but also abandon the pride of thinking any of our works will be acceptable to God. For there we will find that God has made provision for the forgiveness of our sins - and the gift of His Son's righteousness as that which will make us acceptable before Him. Rather than deceiving ourselves with the false religions of men, the false promise of rules and regulations which can make us acceptable to God, and the false images of gods we make who will approve our wicked works - we step into the light of the true God Who dwells in unapproachable holiness - but Who has also provided the true way through the death, burial, and resurrection of HIs Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So the question is to all of us . . . Will we continue in the foolishness of playing hide-and-seek with the living God? Which begs the second question . . . Will we step into the light of His conviction - as well as the light of the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The truth of the matter is that the only one in the darkness during our hopeless game of 'hide-and'seek" with God . . . is us. Take the word of a blind prophet - you can't hide from God.
What king of decisions determine the future of a nation? We live in a day when many choices are being made - and many people think that certain decisions are vitally important to the future of our nation. What is interesting is that the decision that was made in this passage would not be considered one of the more important ones that will always affect a nation. But how a nation views God is the most important thing in that nation. For when a people cast off the God of Scripture and begin making gods of their own in their hearts - they are truly defining the future of their nation .
There were some watershed moments in the life of God’s people during the times of the kings. We will read of one of the more important ones this coming week in our reading. This event and choice made by Jeroboam truly set Israel on a course that doomed the nation to exile and captivity. The event of which I speak is when Jeroboam made a decision to believe his own heart rather than believing God’s Word and promise concerning his kingdom.
In 1 Kings 11 we read of Solomon’s disastrous choice to multiply wives among the ungodly nations that surrounded Israel. Because he did this, Solomon began to tolerate idolatry in his heart – and then eventually allow idolatry to flood Israel. The people were worshipping false god’s – Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, and even the horrible god of Moab, Molech. God brought judgment upon Solomon and his kingdom for this – which involved tearing 10 tribes of the kingdom of Israel out of the hands of the son of Solomon, Rehoboam.
When God did this, He had the prophet Ahijah meet a young man named Jeroboam and proclaim that God was going to give him 10 tribes of Israel as kingdom. With this prophecy also came a word from God to Jeroboam. God promised to make an “enduring house” for Jeroboam if he listen to God and walk in His ways. It was a very clear promise from God.
When Jeroboam received his kingdom – he began listening to his own fleshly thinking rather than God’s promise. He said the following to himself – which proved to be spiritual fatal to him and to the kingdom of the 10 tribes of Israel.
Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. "If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt." He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 1 Kings 12:26-32 (NASB)
Jeroboam decided to listen to his own heart, which feared Israel returning to Rehoboam, instead of remembering God’s promise. That is when he decided he could cause his kingdom to endure by instituting a religion of his own making. He copied some aspects of what God had done – but changed enough so that he would be ultimately in control of this new god of his own making. Clearly what he had done was directly disobey God – and institute idolatry into the life of God’s people.
In what we will read – we will see that God rebukes him for this and says that his actions will lead to disaster for Israel. The historical reality is that there was never a godly king who followed after Jeroboam. Israel went through a succession of godless kings – descended deeper and deeper into idolatry and sin – until the day they were taken away into captivity.
What can we learn from this? First and foremost we need to see the intense danger of idolatry. When we make a god with our minds rather than honor God who has revealed Himself in Scripture – very bad things will happen in our lives. Oh how very careful we need to be to worship the God of the Word – and not the god of whatever we want in our hearts. God takes the sin of idolatry very seriously. The second lesson, which is equally important, is to remember and meditate on God’s promises to us. We will be tempted to forget God’s promises because of our own fears and struggles. But God will bring to pass what He has promised. The dangers we face are that of putting God’s promises to the side and instead, believe whatever our heart thinks. The problem with this is our hearts are desperately wicked and will turn from the truth if we trust them without the corrective and directive of God’s Word leading us.
Jeroboam’s actions led to dire consequences not only for himself – but also for his children and his entire family. We need to remember that if we turn to idolatry and a self-made god, dire consequences will also come to us and to our families. It is far better to remember God’s promises and let them fill our minds and hearts. Remember He has told us to let the Word of Christ dwell richly in our hearts. We will be blessed if we keep His promises and His Word foremost in our thinking so that our hearts will be strengthened by it to stand on His Word no matter what may come.
Most of these articles are taken from the Calvary Courier, a weekly newsletter that is sent to the folks who attend Calvary Chapel Jonesboro. Due to the response to these articles, we've decided to print some of them which proved to be very helpful to God's people at the fellowship.
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