1 Kings 14:1-20

Ahijah Prophesies against the King

14 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam became sick. Jeroboam said to his wife, “Arise now, and disguise yourself so that they will not know that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh; behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who spoke concerning me that I would be king over this people. Take ten loaves with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.”

Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were [a]dim because of his age. Now the Lord had said to Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to [b]inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. You shall say thus and thus to her, for it will be when she arrives that she will pretend to be another woman.”

When Ahijah heard the sound of her feet coming in the doorway, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam, why do you pretend to be another woman? For I am sent to you with a harsh messageGo, 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 molten images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back— 10 therefore behold, I am bringing calamity on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam [c]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. 11 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.”’ 12 Now you, arise, go to your house. When your feet enter the city the child will die. 13 All Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for [d]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. 14 Moreover, the Lord will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam this day [e]and from now on.

15 “For the Lord will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; and He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they have made their [f]Asherim, provoking the Lord to anger. 16 He will give up Israel on account of the sins of Jeroboam, which he [g]committed and with which he made Israel to sin.”

17 Then Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed and came to Tirzah. As she was entering the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 All Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through His servant Ahijah the prophet.

19 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he made war and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20 The time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years; and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.

It’s tragic how much Jeroboam misunderstood God, as he instructs his wife to disguise herself before the prophet. It was as if he thought the prophet was speaking of his own accord, rather than hearing from God. Perhaps he had grown too accustomed to his own prophets and priests who served false gods and idols, and forgot who the one true God really was.

There is nothing we can do to fool God, he sees our innermost thoughts, which is startling to think about. But after all, He created us, and all of creation, why then should we underestimate God or put Him in a box, as if He could be forced to fit our conceptions of His power and glory.

There is one thing sure, which is that none of us truly knows God, and we should never assume that we do. Even Paul, who was so well educated in the scripture, and wrote much of the New Testament, said “now we see as through a glass darkly”. In other words, we see only a poor reflection, as if we were looking at a shabby mirror in a dark room.

We ought to seek to know Him more every day, but never be content with what you know, and again, never delude yourself by thinking you have God figured out. He is beyond imagination, yet He sent his Son into the world to be known, to be loved, and to draw us back to Himself. Though Jeroboam strayed from the path, he was not the first, and would not be the last. We too need to daily right our ship, and point it in God’s direction so that we can hope to avoid the tragedies of Jeroboam and his house. Not least of which was a total misunderstanding of their God.

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