1 Kings 14:2-6
2 Jeroboam told his wife, “Disguise yourself so that people cannot recognize you are Jeroboam’s wife. Then go to Shiloh; Ahijah the prophet, who told me I would rule over this nation, lives there. 3 Take ten loaves of bread, some small cakes, and a container of honey and visit him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.”
4 Jeroboam’s wife did as she was told. She went to Shiloh and visited Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see; he had lost his eyesight in his old age. 5 But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Look, Jeroboam’s wife is coming to find out from you what will happen to her son, for he is sick. Tell her so-and-so. When she comes, she will be in a disguise.” 6 When Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come on in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have been commissioned to give you bad news.
Imagine trying to play hide and seek with God. There’s no winning there. Adam and Eve tried to do it in the garden. Now here it is again – a wife led astray by her husband who coached her in how to deceive – busted. Insult to injury – in front of an essentially blind prophet, too. This story is reminiscent of Jacob’s deceit (with momma’s coaxing), as he donned some fur and went into essentially blind Issac’s presence, presumably as Esau. In the New Testament we see Ananias and Sapphira together choosing to deceive – not just men, but the Holy Spirit. Scary stuff. Foolish choices, that are laughable to us today.
What is hidden from God’s eyes? Nothing! Why even attempt to deceive God or one of God’s mouthpieces? It is folly, and yet attempted because deep down they knew of their sin. They knew they could not curry the favor of God while condoning their sin. So they manipulated and deceived instead. Sounds like our ancient enemy, coming as a serpent making promises that were insidiously deceitful. That’s his manner and language, after all. Ultimately the enemy is behind our attempts to deceive, to. If that doesn’t work, he uses shame to make us hide from God. Will we listen to him, or to the One Who we will give an account?
So, if we know that God sees all and knows all, why would anyone ever be ignorant enough to try and trick God? Really? It is futile! Perhaps because God appeared so much more overtly active at different times in the Bible. Fire from Heaven in response to a prayer is much more tangible to man than a nudging of the Holy Spirit in our hearts today. We have seen though, that God’s people quickly turned away in the Old Testament, too, despite massive encounters with the living God. But perhaps we are not as bold to step out in faith and see God be as palpable today as He was in the Old Testament. Today, yes even today, many countries witness the powerful movement of God through missionaries whose hearts are completely His. People are healed dramatically, miracles still happen today – large and small – for God’s glory alone.
I love the story of Elijah, the one lone prophet remaining against 450 prophets of Baal. He boldly affirmed that God was the One true God, in the face of 450 prophets all slashing themselves and screaming at the top of their lungs for God to answer. Elijah stood firmly and KNEW His God would deliver. An amazing sign of God’s power followed. Have you ever had moments like that in your life? Not where you ask God for signs which demonstrate your faith to bring you glory, but where you have nothing left and cry out to God and stand on His promises and see Him glorified by activity in your life.
By the grace of God, I have seen God move strongly in my life, but I have also had prolonged periods of silence. It is the times of God’s miracles that I cherish and hold onto when I feel forgotten. It is His character and the knowledge of how awesome God is that keeps me motivated to walk before Him, knowing He is good all the time. Who would want to hide from a God like that? One who has been deceived into believing falsely about God’s character. One who has been tricked into thinking that he can achieve favor through another means. Stop the madness. Submit to the Father of our Spirits and live!
Lord, when we are aware of how we fall short and are tempted to hide from You, please open our eyes to see You and help us to run to You, instead.