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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.

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!!!

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)

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.

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

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.


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.

A comment on 1 KINGS 13 – I think the real lesson here is that the only word we can count on is the Word of God! God will never mislead us. Regardless of what anyone tells us, even a minister, if we can’t determine for ourselves from God’s Word that it is accurate, then we shouldn’t follow it. After all, false prophets quote scripture but they also add to it, delete from it or twist it to make it agree with their own agenda.

God Bless,
Pat

The old prophet like all old testament men and women only had the spirit of God upon them (not in them) and this was not continuous. The old prophet was acting in his flesh. A desire to see if this was really so for himself. The lie was a continuation of his selfish will. He knew that the prophet had said he could not eat drink or return the same way when he said "saddle my donkey". When we start down a road that is not ours to take we invite the flesh and the devil to take charge. When he got to the old prophet he did what our flesh always requires whatever it takes to have our way.He lied.

Jeroboam reached out to choke the prophet, but his hand became whithered. Of all the wickedness of the wicked, little is more provoking to God than malicious attacks against his prophets.

The word of God should have troubled Jeroboam's conscience and humbled him, yet not until his flesh was marked was his proud spirit dented. He cried out to the man of God for help. He appeals not to his golden idol but to the God of Judah for intersession. As Matthew Henry observes, the time may come when those who hate preaching would be glad for the prayers of a faithful minister.

He implores the prophet to pray, not that his sin might be pardoned or his heart changed, but only that his hand be restored.

How often in our daily prayers do we ask only that our worldly circumstance be changed to our perceived favor, forgetting that the pardoning of our sins and the changing of our hearts toward Christ need be addressed!

A.

Through out todays readings we see God's faithfulness to the promise He made to David. This gives me a reassurance that He will be faithful to all the promises He has given us in His Holy Word. He is a faithful God who will always love us and and keep His commandments. BUT, through out the scriptures we see that the only thing He demands of us is OBEDIENCE. For He says in His word:
John 14:15
"If you love me, you will obey what I command."
John14:21
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
John14:24
"He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."
So as we can see...obedience is necessary. Especially in those days, since Jesus had not yet paid for there sins. Now we still are required to obey BUT, we have consolation in the sacrifice of Jesus our Messiah.Who bore our sins and disobedience. I praise God for His undying mercy in my life!!!!!

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