« June 13th readings | Main | June 15th readings »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jeroboam was happy to hear God had chosen him as king but had no fear of God and wanted nothing to do with God....Israel in the desert made one gold calf...Jeroboam decided to make two...what is it about cows?.I guess we see Jeroboam in today's world when people know God exists,maybe even go to church yet refuse to live by God's standards or submit to him.The old prophet in Bethel maybe needed to have fellowship with a brother in faith,so he lied and it cost the other prophet from judah his life.I have to wonder though why the punishment in this prophet's case was so harsh and why the other prophet seemingly got away with his lies...Well if there was a prophet in Bethel and God called one from Judah,I guess the prophet from Bethel may have not been so godly...this should have given the Judah prophet a hint that maybe God wasn't with him anymore...The prophet from Judah might have listened because it's what he wanted to hear.....I guess this is a big lesson in seeking a confirmation from God when one comes with a word.....and another thing....God doesn't say one thing one day,then send someone to tell you to do the opposite.I don't know how the old prophet felt when he saw what his lies caused....
Success isn't about how well you lived during your life time but the number of people you have touched....Tabitha certainly was successful:)I have been thinking alot about what my next step will be when I finish my residency.I pray God helps me keep my desires alive if they are my vision.......
God bless you all.

Mike is puzzled by the motivations of the old prophet in lying to the man of God, and concludes that we cannot afford to ever let down our spiritual guard. The man of God should have discerned the lie, he should have seen the trap and not trusted the old prophet.

How do we do this without becoming paranoid? It seems to me there is a big risk of being endlessly suspicious of people - even of our brothers and sisters.

I am thankful for the ministry of encouragement embodied in Barnabas and Ananias and Peter. Each of these men show us how important it is for ministry to be done through people.

Ananias was there for Saul in his initial steps. Granted it took some persuading from the Lord for him to get moving but he did 'lay his hands' on Saul, affirming him.
When Saul tried to join the disciples, they said 'no way', but Barnabas shows up and says, "He's okay' and he 'sponsors' him into the community.

And then there is Peter who is doing what Jesus told him in John 21 --feed my sheep, take care of the lambs-- As he travels through the area to 'visit the believers' he was no doubt blessing people as he did with Aeneas and Dorcas. People helping people. In the swirl of busy religious activity that goes on today I wonder if we are missing this simple piece of the Christian experience.
I thank God for the Ananias' and Barnabas, and Peter like encouragers that were there for me through the years. I am where I am today by the grace of God and by the hands on help of some pretty amazing focused people helpers.

May God grant us the ability and the sensitivity to invest in people as our forefathers did. Can you imagine what would happen in our respective faith communities if each of us would be a Barnabas, a Peter, an Ananias, or a Dorcas to SOMEONE....Wow!!!

I like this question by Mike: “Today - are you walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit?”

I Kings 12 (NKJV)
26
And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David:
27
If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.”
28
Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!”

NOTE:
Look at Jeroboam’s foolish logic: He wanted to keep the 10 tribes that God Himself had promised to him (I Kings 11:30 – 33) from joining with the 2 tribes still belonging to Rehoboam (Solomon’s son). So what did he do? He decided to create a permanent rift between the people of God by deliberately leading the 10 tribes into sin!

Pride can lead to a fall. It is when we are successful because of obeying the Lord that we have to gather people around us to be accountable so we do not develop sinful pride.

Note: The gods that Jeroboam led them to believe were the very gods that the Father God told them to completely destroy: Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and Chemosh the god of the Moabites. It is interesting that many forms of Baalism – the male god (Chemosh) and the female goddess (Ashtoreth) are worshipped through the act of sexual intercourse. This theme of sexual immorality as a means of worship runs all the way through “The DaVinci Code”.

Psalm 132 (NKJV)
4
I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
5
Until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.

Again, I like this question: “Today - are you walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit?”

May we be like David who refused to have his own comfort until God’s Presence was honored first. God wants to abide with us. The anointing of His Presence greatly desires to rest upon us to enable us to enter fully into life so we can lead others from death to life.

Isaiah 66 (NKJV)
1
Thus says the LORD: “ Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?
2
For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the LORD. “ But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.

Psalm 34 (NKJV)
18
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Proverbs 14 (NKJV)
27
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.

Vance

1 Kings 12:20-13:34

Today’s passage, especially the one about the “Man of God” and the prophet is one I have read over and over again to find it’s clues for God’s judgment. Why was the “Man of God” attacked by the lion and not eaten? Why was the donkey left alone when the donkey has more “meat” on it than the man does? This is a sign of God’s judgment because the lion acted outside of its nature.

Both the Man of God and Jeroboam rebelled against the Word of the Lord. Jeroboam had been given a promise by God that he would have an extended kingdom like David, if he obeyed the Word of the Lord. The Man of God was given a clear Word from the Lord about what to do, yet he allowed a man who said he was a prophet to waylay him from a clear instruction of God. The question is, why? I just took note upon reading this today that the “Man of God” was found by the old prophet sitting under an Oak Tree. Who is to say that this off to the side itinerary wasn’t the “foot-in-the-door” the old prophet needed to catch up with the “Man of God.”

So many of us in the Body of Chrst fail our assignments because somebody comes along and distracts us. We have a clear Word from God about our assignment and then someone comes along and either tells us, “God didn’t say that,” or like the old prophet, throws up his or her resume and declares, “I’m a prophet/deacon/preacher/teacher too and then we change our direction. I”ve also noted that the old prophet stated that he was a prophet which violets a rule,

BELOVED, DO not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world. (1 John 4:1 AMP)

God always confirms His Word to us, always. God has this thing that usually drives folks nuts, He repeats His Word, His promises, His commands over and over again and all those who have been reading with us through the Bible will have picked up this pattern. Also, if God spoke directly to the Man of God, why would He send an old prophet to deliver a contrary message by way of an angel? If your relationship with God is such that He would speak to you directly, if God changed His instructions would not you think He would speak to you again? All of a sudden, senile God needs an angel to deliver a message through an old man claiming to be a prophet.

What happened to the Man of God is what happened back in The Garden, “Did God really say …?”

This is a clear warning to us.

Now these things are examples (warnings and admonitions) for us not to desire or crave or covet or lust after evil and carnal things as they did. [Num. 11:4, 34.]
(1 Corinthians 10:6 AMP)

Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]. For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. (1 Corinthians 10:11-13 AMP)


To the “Man of God” Jeroboam was clearly evil and rebelling against God; however, the old prophet “kinda—sorta—looked like good,” and that is the danger, the “kinda-sort-looks-like-to me.”

And as to why the “Man of God” was judged at that time and not the old prophet? Who knows but that is how the Mercy of God shows up:

And God said, I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim My name, THE LORD, before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy and loving-kindness on whom I will show mercy and loving-kindness. [Rom. 9:15, 16.] (Exodus 33:19 AMP)

Grace and peace,
Ramona

In I Kings, what stood out to me is how you can't rest on your laurels as a leader. Here this prophet does a bold and amazing thing by bringing the prophesy against Jeroboam. But then he gets caught up in the other prophet's lie before checking the veracity of it...and he ends up dying from a grisly lion attack. We always need to live in fear of the Lord, even when we think it is a time of "rest" and the "hard part" of ministry is over. The spiritual battle is always raging.

I think the lying prophet thing is very prevalent to today's Christian culture - when you look at some famous name so-called prophets preaching prosperity gospels, or errant end-times material to the masses who for whatever reason seem to just soak it up, you can see how appropriate the lesson is. For me, the key would be confidence in our ability to hear God at all first off, then as Ramona said, if you do gain that ability to discern His Voice amongst all others, to trust Him to continue to speak to you that way in all matters - while he may send confirmation of a 'task' in His Will, He is unlikely to send you someone who will speak opposition to the original "Word". Having spent a lot of time lately listening to multiple US pastors and preachers, this has been a lesson of sorts for me - to be discerning and recognise those who're teaching false gospel. And I'm SO grateful that as I've prayed for discernment, the Lord has indeed been providing it, but I'm also learning that arrogance and pride once more rear their ugly heads in this area too - once you have tasted His discernment, leading etc, you can fall into a trap of thinking you'd ALWAYS know and recognise falsehood, but that's not always going to be the case. And that could have been part of this poor guy's problem too - thinking he was always going to be right in his discernment and thus right in his decisions.

Interesting that the one who caused all the problems in this instance appears to have walked away unharmed, even though he committed a grievous sin although we know he would have got his just reward eventually anyway.

As has been pointed out, we do indeed need to pause constantly before the Lord when undertaking any tasks, but particularly those that are very important or which we think God's made very clear to us what His Will is. Never be complacent or our adversary will have no problem stealing your joy.

Acts9:43 Peter is definately changing (maturing)

"So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner."

a. He stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner: For a law-keeping Jew of that time, it was strictly forbidden to associate with anyone who routinely worked with dead animals. According to the laws of that time, a tanner had to live at least 75 feet outside a village because of his ritual uncleanness.

i. “The trade of a tanner was held in such supreme contempt that if a girl was betrothed to a tanner without knowing that he followed that calling, the betrothal was void.” (Morgan)

b. Because he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner, we see Peter is less concerned about Jewish traditions and ceremonial notions than he was before. This work of God in Peter’s heart lays groundwork for what God will do in Peter in the following chapter.

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/4409.htm

1Kings12

Everyone has done such a complete job of talking about Jeroboam and the prophets. I wanted to go back to chapter 12.

I found interesting that there was no outcry from the people. Most of the Levites left for southern region, and the people of the North seemed to "go along to get along". How deep was their faith in God? Not very. Apparently even after the "sign" from God from the prophet - it seemed business returned as usual. Did it "tickle" their ears - or was it really all about convenience? Regardless, the "north" will pay a price for this sin.

Jeroboam seemed intent on following his own way (seeking advice that agreed or just going it on his own), much like Rehoboam and his young advisors.
======================================================
Therefore the king asked advice: There was no point in asking advice for this evil purpose. Jeroboam wanted advice on how to do a bad thing in the best way.

i. Jeroboam was even more foolish than it first appears. "It literally says, 'Therefore the king took counsel of himself.' " (Dilday) "The phrase discovers the fountain of his error, that he did not consult with God, who had given him the kingdom; as in all reason, and justice, and gratitude he should have done." (Poole)

d. It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt! Jeroboam appealed to their natural desire for convenience. Men will usually take the easy way out when they can; therefore it is good if an idol in Bethel or Dan can replace a trip all the way to Jerusalem.

i. Jeroboam becomes an example of a political leader who shapes religion for his own purpose. The issue of true religion was unimportant to Jeroboam; he was interested in useful religion.

ii. Here are your gods, O Israel: Jeroboam repeats the same words of Aaron about 500 years before his time (Exodus 32:4).

iii. It is possible - perhaps even likely - that Jeroboam intended the gold calves to represent the God of Israel. This wasn't the introduction of a new god, but a perversion of the proper worship of the true God. "Men are willing to worship God if they are allowed to have a ritual and symbols which they have themselves devised." (Spurgeon)


The legitimate priests and Levites who lived in the northern ten tribes did not like this. They, along with others who set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, moved from the northern kingdom of Israel to the southern kingdom of Judah during this period (2 Chronicles 11:13-16). Spiritually speaking, Israel was struck twice - by the ungodly religion of Jeroboam and by the departure of the godly and faithful. There were few godly people left in the northern kingdom.

For the most part, the world embraces the religion of Jeroboam. Not necessarily his particular expression of golden calves and high places, but a religion created according to taste. In the book Habits of the Heart, Robert Bellah and his colleagues interviewed a young nurse named Sheila Larson, whom they described as representing many Americans’ experience and views on religion. Speaking about her own faith and how it operated in her life, she said: “I believe in God. I’m not a religious fanatic. I can’t remember the last time I went to church. My faith has carried me a long way. It is ‘Sheilaism.’ Just my own little voice.” This “pick-and-choose-as-I-go-along-according-to-my-inner-voice” approach is the modern version of Jeroboam's religion - and in opposition to the revealed religion of the Bible.

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1112.htm

NOTE: I would debate the term "revealed religion" and prefer "revealed message on faith".

http://johntaylorgatto.com/underground/prologue3.htm

I have thought and thought about Solomon's decline into disfavor with God.

I used to tell my son when he was growing up that "You are not deprived of enough..." and that was not said mean spirited. When we do not have to work for what we have we tend to take things for granted and we feel entitled; Solomon never had to do anything but administer and delegate. David had to fight from being the youngest of --what? 6 or 7 siblings! Then he had to prove himself with Goliath, and then he had to dodge a spear while Saul played darts with him, and then he had to run for his life when Saul got jealous of him, and he could not trust those nearest him, and his own son sought to have him killed, another son tried to subvert his decision to make Solomon king...it was NEVER easy for David, and because of that David had to rely on the Lord.

Okay, that's it for now, but I want you to look specifically in this part of what John Gatto had to say that caused me to feel such passion to write this:

"Dewey called this transformation "the new individualism." When I stepped into the job of schoolteacher in 1961, the new individualism was sitting in the driver’s seat all over urban America, a far cry from my own school days on the Monongahela when the Lone Ranger, not Sesame Street, was our nation’s teacher, and school things weren’t nearly so oppressive. But gradually they became something else in the euphoric times following WWII. Easy money and easy travel provided welcome relief from wartime austerity, the advent of television, the new nonstop theater, offered easy laughs, effortless entertainment. Thus preoccupied, Americans failed to notice the deliberate conversion of formal education that was taking place, a transformation that would turn school into an instrument of the leviathan state. Who made that happen and why is part of the story I have to tell."

I do think if things are going too easy for us, we really have to ask ourselves if this is in our best interest.

I think that the Man of God was being TESTED by God. God never tempts us, but he does test us. God is sovereign and will use anything or anyone He pleases to test our obedience and in this case He used someone very unlikely- an old PROPHET. I believe a lying spirit sent by the Lord was speaking out of the old prophet's mouth. It's when we think we "stand" we must take heed- lest we fall. We don't know the man of God's inner struggles and weaknesses . God has His reasons for testing this man. Consider the times He's tested you in some areas. Remember how the Word of the Lord "tried" (tested) Joseph. He passed his test. Some do not. I do believe God showed mercy on the man of God by restraining the mouth of the lion from eating him and also by providing the donkey for the man to be transported to his burial site. The Lord didn't have to do that but He abides faithful even when we are not.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to receive each blog post via email:

December 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Books for the Journey: