Monday, September 12, 2011
Need Directions? Be Careful Whom You Listen To...!
I know, you English fanatics our there, it should read, "Be Careful to whom you listen...." I just couldn't be THAT formal though in today's blog.
I read a very strange incident in 1 Kings 13 this morning, and I must share it with you to gather your thoughts or perspective.
After Solomon blew it by marrying a thousand or so women and by worshiping other gods and building altars, God began the process of dismantling Israel as He promised He would if this happened.
Jeroboam had been promised the ten northern tribes of Israel by God.Solomon had given young Jeroboam the job of special project foreman during his reign. Later Jeroboam tore part of the kingdom from Solomon's heir, Rehoboam.
Jereboam had gone to Rehoboam on behalf of the people to ask for leniency in the laws. Rehoboam refused and lost his throne as a result. Rehoboam had asked advice of the elders as well as of younger advisors. The elders told him to give in to their requests. The younger ones told Rehoboam to become even stricter and show the people who was in charge.
Unfortuately for Rehoboam, he listened to pride and showed the people no mercy.
That is the FIRST example of bad advice. It gets surprisingly worse. Surprisingly because it happens to a man of God!
Jeroboam comes to power, but he, like so many others before, goes against God's commands, and builds shrines, installs priests in the high places he made.
God sends a man of God to warn Jeroboam. It is fascinating to see what happens, much like Moses when confronting Pharoh. The prophet cried out against the altar at Bethel made by Jeroboam, and the King stretched out his hand from the altar and said, "SEIZE HIM!" But the King's hand shriveled up immediately. He then asked the prophet to intercede for him and restore his hand.
Talk about changing your mind! At least he did not take as long as Pharoh with Moses. The king then asked the prophet to come with him to eat and talk, but the prophet refused.
Why? The prophet had been told by God NOT to stay, eat, drink, or return home the same way.
So the prophet obeyed and left.
NOW THE BAD ADVICE PART THAT IS SURPRISING. READY?
On his way home, another prophet hears about this man of God and sends for him to come to his home and eat. The man of God tells him he can not go back, eat, or drink because God told him not to do so.
Now you would think one prophet to another, he would respect that. Yes?
NO! This prophet LIES and tells the man of God that God TOLD him to send for him and take him to his house to feed him and give him drink.
The man of God believes him and does so. During the dinner, the prophet tells the man of God that God is angry with him for defying his directions and as a result his body will not be buried in the tomb of his fathers. Whoa! The man who lied must now tell the man of God whom he lied to that he was going to be punished for believing him instead of God?
The prophet put the man of God back on a donkey and as the man of God went his way a lion attacked him and killed him.
Neither his body nor his donkey were mauled or eaten! The lion just sat near the body of the man of God as though he were waiting for someone to fetch the body home. As a result, the prophet who had lied heard about the body, retrieved it, and buried it in his own tomb, and mourned over him.
Well! That certainly upset me this morning! I thought about how careful I must be when listening to hearsay!
Also, how much more careful I must be in making sure I do not give erroneous hearsay!
How often have you heard someone say," I feel God is telling me to tell YOU to...." We must be careful whom we follow when taking directions, right?
The funny video clip below reminds us of that fact:
Today's story tells us to go to the SOURCE, Scripture, God's Word, for our direction as much as possible and to be careful when giving others advice "from God."
"All Scripture is God-breathed for the teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness..."(2 Timothy 3:16).
Today, let's join together in seeking advice and direction directly from God and watch out for hearsay, no matter how wonderful its source may be.
For His Glory,