Highlights In Today's Reading:
Don't miss reading all of the things prophesied against Jeroboam, the 1st king of the northern ten tribes (14:9-20; 15:29). Rehoboam, King of Judah, didn't do any better. Several kings are in these two chapters, but only one did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord (15:11). Since his idolatrous worship centers were violations of the Word of God, all priests left Jeroboam's kingdom.
The gracious promises of Jehovah, through His prophet Ahijah, were offered to Jeroboam: According to all that thy soul desireth. . . . if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee (11:37-38). But he made no attempt to follow the Lord. Although God bestows many privileges upon His people, they are always contingent upon obedience.
As an example, Jeroboam forsook his God-given opportunities for what he thought were political advantages. The withered hand, the rent altar, and the message of rebuke from the mysterious young prophet of Judah were some of the many warnings to this self-serving king who in spite of them continued to reject God.
Then, a time came when Jeroboam's eldest son became seriously ill. Surely in his heart Jeroboam realized that the false priests he had hired could not provide comfort or receive any message from the One True God. But it was also obvious that his calf-gods could not help him.
The seriousness of his own son's illness caused him to send his wife disguised as a peasant to Ahijah the prophet whom he had ignored, who was now very old and blind, seeking assurance that their son would not die. The blind prophet at Shiloh boldly said: Thou hast not been as my servant David . . . But hast done evil above all that were before thee . . . and made thee other gods. . . . Arise . . . the child shall die (14:8-9,12).
What stands out is the contrast between the clever, well-planned attempt of King Jeroboam to deceive the prophet of God and the prophet's open, straightforward answers. Our God deals in simplicity and truth.
Beware of any person whose conversation, conduct, or activities promote other books as equal to the only God-inspired Guide to Life. Satan is the instigator of deception and lies. The Holy Spirit guided the Apostle Paul to write: Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9).
Thought for Today:
Ignoring any portion of the Word of God or adding to God's Word is as wrong as taking away from it. There are many good Christian books, but the Bible is the only inspired Guide from our Creator. If any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this Book (Revelation 22:19).
In Asa's ridding the land of idols and sodomites (I Kings 15:11-14). Christ cleansed the Temple (Matthew 21:12-13); John 2:13-17). As Christians, we are the temples of God, bought with His own blood (I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:16-17), and are cleansed of all unrighteousness when we confess our sins (I John 1:9).
14:3 cracknels =cakes or fig bars; 14:5 feign herself =pretend; 14:6 heavy tidings =bitter news; 14:15 groves =pagan shrines; 15:12 took away =vanished; 15:17 suffer =allow or permit.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Official: Rep. George Butterfield (NC) • Country: Mauritania (2.6 million) in western Africa • Major language: Hasaniya Arabic • Islamic state with no mission work allowed • 99+% Muslim (predominantly Sunni); .2% Christian (predominantly foreigners) • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for trials because through them we can learn patience (Romans 5:3).
Optional Reading: Acts 28
Memory Verse for the Week: James 2:26