Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:
"The saying is sure and worthy of confidence: If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.”
II Timothy 2: 11, 12
"For every hill I’ve ever had to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat,
My heart sings but a grateful song –
These were the things that made me strong.
For all the heartaches and the tears,
For all the anguish and the pain,
For gloomy days and fruitless years,
And for the hopes that lived in vain,
I do give thanks, for now I know
These were the things that helped me grow!”
Today's Study Text:
"Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh…and take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to (Ahijah the prophet): he shall tell thee what shall become of the child. And Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. And the Lord said unto Ahijah, ‘Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman. And so it was…And Jeroboam’s wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died; and they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake by the hand of His servant Ahijah the prophet.”
1 Kings 14:2-5, 17
"Commitment or Compromise" – Part III
"When Your Name Is Mrs. Jeroboam”
"You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice.”
The Purpose-Driven Life
What are some of the specific choices I have made in my life?
How have these choices affected me and others?
What consequences have I had to live with because of the choices I made?
“Every decision has an outcome and every path has a destination.”
“Many would save themselves much sorrow and trouble if they would only remember the question, ‘What does it cost?’”
Holiness: It’s Nature, Hindrances,
Difficulties and Roots
Several years ago, during my study for a devotional here in Transformation Garden, I ran upon the following quote by William Edwyn Robert Sangster which really left an impression upon me. This is what he so keenly observed: “Every day the choice between good and evil is presented to us in simple ways.”
If any statement is true -- this one is! What’s more, we see this truth acted out in the life of Mrs. Jeroboam with distinct clarity in the experience which is detailed in I Kings 14.
I deeply appreciate the fact that so many of God’s sons come to the Garden each day and join in our studies about women in the Bible. Today, though, I want to state right up front that I’m directing our devotional thoughts specifically to God’s girls because there is a lot that Mrs. Jeroboam can teach us.
While we must recognize that women’s lives, at the time of the “Kings,” were not valued much except as child-bearing vehicles, it doesn’t mean that women had absolutely no voice. When we studied about Ruth and Naomi, we found that these two women, by their choices, were able to not only affect their own history in a positive way, but they also touched the lives of family members, down through history. And when we arrive at the book of Esther, we will find three strong-voiced women, Queen Vashti, Queen Esther, and Zeresh, the wife of Haman. All these women, for good or ill, had plenty to say, and what they said not only changed their lives, but others with whom they had contact.
Having said this, it is likely that Mrs. Jeroboam had an arranged marriage, set-up to give her financial security and in turn, her task was to provide an heir to the throne for the “House of Jeroboam.”
Whatever the reason for the connection of King and Mrs. Jeroboam, there are several points about her which I’d like to look at:
1. We have no idea what “Mrs.” Jeroboam’s name was except that she was married to King Jeroboam. Her entire identity was bound to him.
2. She acted upon his demands.
3. She did what he told her even if it meant she needed to lie to get information.
4. She had no more respect for God than did her husband.
5. She found, in the end, that the consequences of her husband’s behavior, and hers as well, ended up with the death of her son.
Sometimes it becomes easy for us, as women, to compromise our values to get through life. We’ll let things slide by. We’ll go along to get along. I don’t know if Mrs. Jeroboam was a believer in the God of heaven and earth. Likely she was not. In fact, because Jeroboam spent some of his adulthood in Egypt, for all we know, she may have been an Egyptian. Regardless, this nameless woman had her identity so absorbed in her husband’s life that she was a non-entity whose task was to do what her husband ordered, including lying and trying to deceive God’s prophet. I find a great deal of truth in the words of Evelyn Scott who observed, “To have one’s individuality completely ignored is like being pushed quite out of life. Like being blown out as one blows out a light.” Let no one stamp out your identity -- the individual you were uniquely created to be by your Father in heaven. Each of us is special. As Lydia Child describes, “The boughs of no two trees ever have the same arrangement. Nature always produces individuals.” While I am delighted to be my husband’s wife, I am much more than a spouse. And no one has the right to wash away the “specialness” which is me or is you. We are not to be “ruled” by another person’s thoughts or deeds.
There’s more, though, that we can learn from Mrs. Jeroboam. If character mattered to her, you wouldn’t know it for she was more than willing to go along to get along. She disguised herself to try to get the information her husband wanted. The fact is, her willingness to lie to God’s prophet showed her true character. Louise Gruiney stated, “Character demonstrates itself in trifles.” Some may maintain that it was a “trifle” for Mrs. Jeroboam to put on a fake front to try and fool an old, blind prophet. Sadly, her lack of respect for God’s chosen tells us a great deal about her lack of reverence for God Himself.
The Apostle James left us with this admonition regarding the choices we make in our lives, “Do you not realize that love for the world is hatred for God? Anyone who chooses the world for a friend is constituted an enemy of God” (James 4: 4, NJ.B.).
What a sad life for Mrs. Jeroboam because as we read I Kings14, the prophet of God had a solemn message regarding her son. Upon her arrival back home, when she entered the city, her young son perished. This woman and mother made a choice to go along with the moral rebellion of her husband and she paid a tragic consequence. As A. W. Tozer noted, “Men (and women) are free to decide their own moral choices, but they are also under the necessity to account to God for those choices.”
“God has no need of marionettes. He pays men (and women) the compliment of allowing them to live without Him if they choose. But if they live without Him in this life, they must also live without Him in the next.”
"O God, grant us in all our doubts and uncertainties the grace to ask what You would have us do; that the spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in Your light we may see light, and in Your straight path may not stumble, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You may also call Transformation Garden at 480-281-1508.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.