Drinking Deeply

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 2:39 PM

Coram Deo (before the face of God)

Sometimes it's interesting how the Bible pierces right into the heart, even when it's on a topic that may only be tangentially related. Well, I guess that's why it's living and active! (Hebrews 4:12)

I was reading 1 Kings last week and something interesting came to light. I found it very convicting for myself so I decided to share it on my blog.

Some background story. Jeroboam is now king of Israel after Rehoboam, Solomon's son, made the stupid move of listening to the young hot-heads instead of the wise advisers. (But this was all in accordance to God's will, 1 Kings 12:15). Now, you'd think after being basically handed the kingdom by God, he'd turn to God and follow Him all his days, but nope, goes after false gods. Builds some golden calves and comes up with new feasts (1 Kings 12:25-33).

Just brilliant. Brilliant I say. And then his son gets sick, so what does he do? He sends his wife to the prophet Ahijah and tells her something very interesting (1 Kings 14):
2And Jeroboam said to his wife, "Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who said of me that I should be king over this people. 3Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child."
And at this point I just laughed aloud. She's going to ask a prophet of God about what to do with the child, and he wants her to disguise herself so the prophet doesn't know it's his son! Wow, sheer brilliance. As if the prophet would know which son, what to do, all without knowing who was asking. Boy is he going to get it. And get it Jeroboam did:
7Go, tell Jeroboam, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: "Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel 8and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, 9but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, 10therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the LORD has spoken it."' 12Arise therefore, go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the LORD, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14Moreover, the LORD will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam today. And henceforth, 15the LORD will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and root up Israel out of this good land that he gave to their fathers and scatter them beyond the Euphrates, because they have made their Asherim, provoking the LORD to anger. 16And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin."
Man, what a joke! How could someone be so stupid. Trying to go to a prophet of God for answers when he was blatantly sinning and hoping not to get caught but would still get what he wanted. I would never do something that dumb...

And of course, I was caught. I could easily think of so many instances where I had done just that. Of course, I had no dying child, no wife to send in my stead, to prophet to approach, but the principle was the same. I am a little better with the disguise of course. I try to "serve" other people. I try to read the Bible more. I try to hang out with people in my dorm ("ministry"), all the while hanging onto my idolatrous pride, legalistic mindset, and discontentment.

Who was I fooling? There I was, approaching the throne of God hoping that the disguise I was wearing was good enough to get what I wanted, while the knower of hearts looked on. (1 Samuel 16:7)

God have mercy on me, a sinner.


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