Disguises

When she came, she pretended to be another woman. But when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam; why do you pretend to be another? For I am charged with heavy tidings for you. Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because I exalted you from among the people, made you leader over my people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David to give it to you; yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my sight, but you have done evil above all those who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods, and cast images, provoking me to anger, and have thrust me behind your back; therefore, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will consume the house of Jeroboam, just as one burns up dung until it is all gone. Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city, the dogs shall eat; and anyone who dies in the open country, the birds of the air shall eat; for the LORD has spoken.’ (1 Kings 14:5b-11)

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can never fool God. The prophet Ahijah was old and blind. Years before, he had told Jeroboam that he would become king over the ten tribes of the north. But rather than following God, Jeroboam had made the Israelites worship two calf idols instead of Yahweh.

When Jeroboam’s son became ill, he sent his wife to the Ahijah to find out what would become of his son. Although she disguised herself, given that Ahijah was a genuine prophet, she couldn’t hide the truth from him. So Ahijah gave her the bad news from God: not only would Jeroboam’s sick son not survive, neither would any of Jeroboam’s family. Two years into the reign of his surviving son Nadab, a leader from the tribe of Issachar named Baasha rebelled. Baasha killed Nadab, became king in his place, and then murdered Jeroboam’s entire remaining family.

God later judged Baasha for having killed Jeroboam’s family (1 Kings 16:7). Just because Jeroboam was evil, that did not make murdering him the right thing for Baasha to do just because God had predicted what would happen. Two wrongs never make a right. Justice is not served by means of wrong actions, no matter how good the outcome.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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