Thursday, June 13, 2013

Prophetic words of knowledge

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 21:17-29

TO CHEW ON: "Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite saying, 'Arise, go down to meet Ahab King of Israel, who lives in Samaria. There he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it.'" 1 Kings 21:17-18

The sordid little tale of Ahab and Jezebel setting up the murder of Naboth so that Ahab could get the plot he wanted for his vegetable garden reminds us of similar intrigues. For example there was the scheme of David  in arranging for the demise of Uriah so that he could cover up the fact that he got Bathsheba pregnant (2 Samuel 11-12:15). In both cases God sent one of his valets--a prophet--to expose the sin and impose the punishment.

This kind of prophetic exposure of secrets and sin didn't happen only in the Old Testament. Jesus had such an encounter with a Samaritan woman (John 4:16-42). When Ananias and Sapphira conspired to give a false impression about their offering, Peter knew (Acts 5:3). He confronted them with their sin of lying to the Holy Spirit and both died, on that very day. (Read the whole story - Acts 5:1-11.) 

Which just shows us that we can't sneak around on God. He knows what's up and has His ways of bringing our sin into the light.

The part Elijah played in the Naboth garden story also has something to teach us. The fearful, depressed, even suicidal man from 1 Kings 19 has disappeared. In his place we see the old Elijah, ready to leave on God's assignments at a moment's notice. Answering Ahab's wry, "Have you found me, O my enemy," with the authority of his Boss: "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord."

I ask myself, would I be as quick to carry out such an intimidating task? As unquestioning, as Elijah seems to be, of later fallout for myself (remember, Jezebel had recently threatened his life). Such an example gives new meaning to verses like, "I have been crucified with Christ. Nevertheless it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to live transparently before You. May I be as completely at Your beck and call as Elijah was. Amen.

MORE: Modern prophetic words of knowledge

We would call what Elijah, Nathan and Peter communicated to the people they confronted, prophetic words of knowledge. Paul lists prophecy as one of the gifts of the Spirit  and describes prophetic encounters in a church service as one way God convinces people of His reality, convicts them of sin, and causes them to worship Him.

In some churches and denominations, such communications are considered flaky and not for today. Tabo Huntley of The King's Arms Church in Bedford, England wouldn't agree. Here is his experience with and teaching about prophetic words of knowledge in use today: "Words of Knowledge" by Tabo Huntley.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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