Issue #ZAS1234

Issue #ZAS1234

December 1, 2021


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In My Quiet Time

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23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 KJV).

Obedience is Better than Sacrifice – 1 Kings 13: 1-34

In 1 Kings 13, God sent a young prophet from Judah to warn King Jeroboam of Israel that He was displeased with his idolatrous ruler ship, and judgement would surely come as a result. That judgement came partially when Jeroboam’s hand was paralysed as he stretched it out against the Man of God; and completely, some 350 years later when Josiah swept through Israel with wide-scale reform  that destroyed the pagan altars and deities and reinstituted Godly values and practices.  

God instructed the young prophet not to eat or drink anything in the town to which He had sent him and to leave immediately after delivering His message. However, an old prophet heard from his sons that there had been some excitement in the town centre that day, and he went after the young prophet to cajole him to return.  He offered the young man bread and water and when the latter declined, the older one deliberately convinced him to accept although he knew what God’s instruction to the young prophet was.  Shortly after leaving the old Prophet’s home, the young prophet was killed by a lion!  I was shocked! 

For years, I could not understand why God would do that to His servant who was deliberately deceived.  One day (November 9, 2017 to be exact), I tackled God about it …yet again…and told Him I was tired of drawing blank whenever the account crossed my mind.  And He said “Okay, come, let’s reason together…let me explain”. 

He said, “Max, if I give you a command, I give you a command.  If anyone comes and tells you otherwise, your job is to consult Me.  I will not give another a contrary word and you do not know.  I do not care who that person is, what position they have.  Yes, the young prophet was on the battlefield for me, doing my business. I could have spared him, but quite frankly, he left earth to join me anyway, didn’t he?”

And we could say “Yes, but God, what about his family that was left behind to mourn him?” All sorts of retorts we could make, but the moral of the story is simple: God does not change His law.  He is a God of order and it cannot be that He tells one person x and another person y.  That would mean He is variable and where would that leave us?  It would mean He is changeable and we cannot trust Him. He IS the same, yesterday, today and forevermore!

There is another revelation that I got from that conversation: if God so rigidly disciplined the young prophet when he disobeyed His instructions (recall Lot’s wife); how could King Jeroboam or his later contemporaries even think they would be spared the wrath to come? And remember, too that Jeroboam got multiple warnings; the young prophet got only one.  Indeed… obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22).

Maxine Gray Demetrius is a staff writer and editor.              

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