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I Kings 12:20-13:34

What is it about cows that Israel loved so much? Jeroboam had already been given a Word from God that came to pass, God would give him ten tribes of Israel. God told him why the kingdom was being taken from Solomon and he gave him conditional promises. If Jeroboam did what God commanded him to do and walk in God’s ways, the Kingdom of Israel would be he “sure house.”

Despite all that assurance, Jeroboam wasted no time in doubting God. He figured that God was able to give him a kingdom, but God wasn’t able to keep it so fear drove him to create two cow idols to give the people something other than God to worship. He essentially was afraid of his own people. He was afraid that they would not submit to his leadership.

What has God placed in our hands, things we know that we did not get because we are so good, yet turned and doubted that the God who gave us such wonderful things, didn’t have the strength to keep it? . The idols we make are things we can control and maybe that is why we make them.

I’ll try to deal with 1 Kings 13 from a perspective of a repetitive phrase, “The word of the Lord,” as per the New International Translation (I believe in the NLT the phrase used is, “The Lord’s command,” but it is easier to count phrases in the NLT in this instance). The phrase, “”The word of the Lord,” is stated eleven times in the span of thirty-four verses.

I am operating out of a belief that when you see a pattern or phrase cited over and over again in a short span one needs to take serious heed. I believe one of the things seen in this verse if the cost of disobedience, disobeying a clear “Word of the Lord.” The prophet got a Word from God and followed it up until he met another prophet, an old prophet, who validated a lie by prefacing the deceit with these words, “"I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD …” (Verse 18). This prophet was deceived by a man of God. Then after the prophet was killed the old prophet began speaking truth or what he had heard from God.

The lion standing next to the dead prophet and the live donkey without dining on neither one nor the donkey being afraid of the lion shows us that this was not some tragic accident or event, this was judgment.

When we are given a direct Word from God we are not to let anyone distract us from our assignment, even if it is a “Man of God” who has been “On the Lord’s Highway for a Long Time.” It is God who confirms His Word to us and if someone else comes with a change in plans declaring God has spoken to him or her, if you don’t receive a Word from God yourself that confirms this change of plans, It Ain’t God! The same way God came to the prophet to give him his assignment is the same way he will come to change it. Now there can be a problem if we aren’t listening to Him; however, if we are not in a mode to listen to God I don’t think He would give an assignment that was as dangerous and important as this prophet had if we were are confused about what God’s voice sounds like. However Jesus did say, “My sheep listen to my voice.”(John 10:27) But we all know that listening is one thing and doing is another.

The verses were the phrase the Word of the Lord appears:

1) One
2) Two
3) Five
4) Nine
5) Seventeen
6) Eighteen
7) Twenty
8) Twenty-One A
9) Twenty-One B
10) Twenty-Six
11) Thirty-Two

Acts 9:26-43

I wonder if Barnarbas’ relationship with Saul, at this point, is a model for us to use when we are newly converted. I know the text does not say Barnabas disciple-ed Paul, but he at least had enough courage to come along side Paul as he built up relationships with believers in Jerusalem. Trust is something that must be developed over time through experience. Scripture states that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). I can’t really know or trust that the Lord is my Shepherd until I’m between a Rock and a Hard Place and He leads me out. So if a stranger or someone who use to be a violent zealot against Christians shows up and says I’ve changed, I think some time needs to pass so that their Christian fruit can be seen and tested.

Psalm 132:1-18
I love the last line of this Psalm,

18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but he will be a glorious king."

This reminds me that no matter what adversity I find myself going through that adversity doesn’t determine my final outcome. My victory lies not in me but in the “glorious king” I serve, Jesus.

Proverbs 17:6

Not only do I see this verse as Mike sees it, honoring our parents, but I see it as a mandate to parents and grandparents to live a life that children and grandchildren will be proud to point too.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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