1 Kings 14:6 (NIV) 6 So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense? I have been sent to you with bad news.
On verses 1-6: Jeroboam’s son Abijah is sick, so Jeroboam tells his wife to disguise herself and consult the prophet Ahijah to find out what will happen to the boy. Up in years, Ahijah was physically blind, but the Spirit of God helped him to discern that the woman coming to see him was Jeroboam’s wife.
What can we learn from this? Here are three lessons I believe the Holy Spirit taught me from these verses:
1. Sometimes what we lack in the natural, God can give in the spiritual. In other words, you may be naturally blind, but God can give you spiritual sight and discernment, as he did with Ahijah. You may be naturally shy and not a public speaker, but God can make you His mouthpiece, as he did with Moses. God loves to show His power through our weakness.
2. When you come into the presence of God, come just as you are. You don’t need to pretend to be someone that you are not. God already knows you fully any way. It reminds me of Psalm 139:1-4 when David writes:
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
God has searched you and knows you. He perceives your thoughts from afar. He is familiar with all your ways. Before a word is on your tongue, He knows it completely. And despite our thoughts, our ways and our words being so full of sin, this holy God allows us to approach Him. Why? It’s because He is full of mercy and compassion, and by the blood of His Son Jesus, your sins no longer separate from Him.
3. When your life is full of sin and you don’t repent, like Jeroboam and his wife, you’ll just end up pretending in front of God. But you don’t need to. Jesus Christ has already paid for all of your sins on the cross. And thus you can approach Him with confidence so that you can receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
1 Kings 14:10-11 (NIV) 10 ” ‘Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel–slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. 11 Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country. The LORD has spoken!’
On verses 7-20: Ahijah proceeds to give the wife of Jeroboam a message for her husband:
1. First the Lord reminds Jeroboam that He was the one who raised Jeroboam up to be king (v7), taking away almost all the tribes of Israel away from the house of David and giving them to Jeroboam (v8). Yet Jeroboam did not follow the Lord the way David did; rather by inventing a new religion and plunging himself and the nation into idolatry, Jeroboam did more evil in God’s sight “than all who lived before you” (v9). In so doing, God tells Jeroboam: “you thrust me behind your back”.
2. Because of Jeroboam’s sin, God promises to cut off every male in his house (v10-11). His boy Abijah will die (v12) and will be the only one in his house who dies a peaceful death, since he is the only one in Jeroboam’s house in whom God has found anything good (v13).
3. God will appoint a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam (v14). Even more, because of the sins Jeroboam committed and caused Israel to commit, God will strike Israel, uprooting them and scattering them out of the land He had given them (v15-16).
Just as the Lord spoke through Ahijah, when Jeroboam’s wife returns home, Jeroboam’s son Abijah indeed dies and is buried (v17-18). Jeroboam himself also eventually dies and is succeeded by his son Nadab after a 22 year reign as king of Israel (v19-20).
What can we learn from all this? Ultimately it was Jeroboam’s sins that caused the entire nation of Israel to be eventually ousted out of their land and sent into exile. We might be tempted to think that our sin is ultimately a personal and private issue, but it is not. Unless we repent and receive forgiveness for our sins, our sins will end up catching up to us and affect not only us but everyone in our care as well, causing them and us to forfeit the blessing God would otherwise want to bring in and through our lives. So for the sake of those in your care, be quick to repent of sin and to humble yourself before God.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have searched me and You know everything about me. Despite all the ways I’ve fallen short of Your glory, thank You so much for the mercy and grace You have poured out on my life time and time again. Because of Your mercy and grace, expressed through Jesus Christ, I can approach You just as I am with confidence and receive what I need. May I not be like Jeroboam, whose sins led him, his family, and his nation out of Your presence. Instead of pretending and hiding my sin from You, may I be open and honest with You about my sin so that I and everyone in my care can benefit from Your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!