Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Welcome to Day 164 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
1 Kings 13 when Shemaiah (12:22), called the man of God, (from Judah) gives a word of warning against King Jeroboam and his altar of false worship at Bethel, the King’s hand shrivels and the altar splits in two. The King offers him to have a meal and receive a gift. Shemaiah declines siting the word the Lord had given him to not go there or eat or drink with them.
But.. when an old prophet hears of the incident and invites Shemaiah to his house, he lies to Shemaiah about an angel appearing to him and claims that the angel told him it was ok for him to come for a visit. (In so many words.) (As punishment?) Shemaiah is killed by a lion as he is on his way from there…
v 33, “Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.”
The old prophet shrugs it off as v 26, “It is the man of God who defied the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the Lord had warned him.”
1 Kings 14 Ahijah prophecies against Jeroboam, when Abijah sends his wife to Ahijah to seek their ill son’s fate… that he will die and the kingdom will be stripped from Jeroboam. Not what he was hoping to hear.
v 8, “I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 9 You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me.”
2 Chronicles 12:7, “When the Lord saw that they (the Leaders of Israel) humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak (the king of Egypt.) 8 They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.”
Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Yet again the Israelites learn another tough lesson due to their stubborn arrogance and unwillingness to follow the Lord’s laws and decrees.
A little humility goes a long way…
Hard for me to understand why Israel has such a hard time following the Lord. They are people of worship, but they continually choose to worship false gods of other nations, (those of the nations the Lord had driven out before them.)
It makes no sense to me…
Although, I get it. I understand people make their choices and live with the consequences. It’s really that simple.
It’s the same today. People choose whom they are going to follow and serve.
Other gods require less. There is no standard. They even allowed sex in their worship! There were male shrine prostitutes and people engaged in all kinds of “detestable practices.” 1 Kings 14:24
God doesn’t require perfection, but he does require obedience. He requires that we not participate in detestable practices. That we not follow after other gods.
David certainly had his shortcomings (adultery with Bathsheba), Ahijah told the wife of Jeroboam, “I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes.”
I agree with Paul, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but
I press on
to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14
I press on
toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
My heart is heavy this morning as I read these verses and write this journal… I am saddened by Israel’s disobedience. Help me Lord as I strain toward what is ahead, toward the prize for which you have called me.