Friday, June 10, 2016

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 11:1-12:15). In both Ahab's and David's cases God sent one of his prophets 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 in 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 our reading a couple of days ago (1 Kings 19:4) 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'" - 1 Kings 21:20)

I ask myself, would I be as quick to carry out such an intimidating task? Would I be as unquestioning, as Elijah seems to be, of later fallout for myself (remember, Jezebel had recently threatened his life)? Such an example puts new flesh on the bones of 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.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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