Monday, May 24, 2010

Obedience and Success are Intertwined

1 Kings 13

Jeroboam, the Northern King, led his people astray.
He introduced idolatry to keep his leadership in play.
He built altars for sacrifice and encouraged the people to use them.
He was hoping they would forget the temple in Jerusalem.

The king was guilty of terrible sin against God’s first command.
He thought too little of the One who gave him his throne and land.
He loved the trappings of royalty with his orders always obeyed.
He threw off God who was good and true, invited the devil to stay.

A young prophet came to Bethel to speak to all the false priests.
“On these altars,” he proclaimed, “the lives of the priests would cease.
A son will be born to David’s house; Josiah will be his name.
He will judge these false priests rebuking you for your shame.”

When Jeroboam heard these words, he was angry to say the least.
He reached out to take hold of him, but his hand was suddenly diseased.
He asked the young prophet quickly to pray that God would heal his hand.
When it happened the king decided he would detain the man.

When the invitation came forth, the young man answered in haste.
“I would not stay for half of your kingdom. God tells me to leave this place.”
God had instructed not to linger but to leave by a different road.
I imagine he headed south back to his home abode.

But now we see a peculiar twist, one that is quite a surprise.
He stopped for a time under an oak, a time to reflect and apprise.
An older prophet found him there, invited him home to rest.
When he accepted his invitation, he totally failed the test.

When the young prophet left after lunch, a lion met and killed him.
The donkey and lion stood side by side at the scene so still and grim.
The older prophet summed it up: “He defied the Lord’s command.”
Sadly he failed to fulfill the mission in the manner it was planned.

Now here is a truth for all today who call on the name of the Lord.
To prevail, you must obey. No details can be ignored.
Fuzzy thinking and fleshly desire clouded his spiritual mind.
Don’t ever forget obedience and success are perfectly intertwined.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

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