Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fascinating Reading

The passage to which the title refers is the thirteenth chapter of I Kings, a historical book of the Old Testament.  In this chapter, much too much to address in its entirety in one blog post, we read the story of "a man of God" who goes up to Bethel and prophesies against the altar on which the current King Jeroboam was sacrificing to heathen gods.

In verse two we read  “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord, 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you."  (NASB)

As we continue reading we see the anger this stirs within King Jeroboam for he clearly understands that the prophecy is not against the inanimate altar to which the man of God speaks, but against him.  And the man's words predicting a reigning king of the house of David is a clear message to Jeroboam that he is through.

The next several verses tell of the king's anger and his response, the withering of his accusatory arm and the healing of the same by the prayer of the man of God, the king's misplaced gratitude and his offer of victuals to the man who asserts that God told him to neither eat nor drink while on this mission.  Read it.  It is fascinating.

Fast forward.  An old prophet, doubtless a has-been, is told by his sons about the events at the altar, which is to say that the sons were at the site to worship the golden calf in violation of God's laws in the first place and the old father received their news and rode after the man of God.  The prophet, probably out of envy inasmuch as it was clear that God spoke to the man and the prophet had probably not heard from Him in a long time, invited the man to come dine with him, blatantly lying in saying that an angel had given him a word from the Lord which superseded the direction the man of God had received from God.  (Envy leads to strife within the Church today.  How supportive are we when others are successful in their ministries?  Just asking.)

And the man of God believed him and went to eat with him.

At first glance it seems that the man's sin was disobedience, and so it was. But I think more importantly the basic sin was doubting God's word, for his instructions were clear.  When doubt entered, he was doomed.

Doubt God and disaster will follow.

And we didn't even get to the part about the lion and the donkey.  Please read the story in its entirety.  It contains much that is interesting and instructive.

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2 comments:

Vee said...

You should teach our SS Class. You actually understand the meanings of Old Testament passages. You would cringe if you heard some of the mangled and twisted interpretations we get.

vanilla said...

Vee, I appreciate your confidence. Sometimes it takes more than a minute per page to really grasp the concepts presented in the Bible. And I'm a long way yet from grasping them all.