And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 1 Kings 13:4.
Jeroboam was filled with a spirit of defiance against God and attempted to restrain the one who had delivered the message. In wrath “he put forth his hand from the altar” and cried out, “Lay hold on him.” His impetuous act met with swift rebuke. The hand outstretched against the messenger of Jehovah suddenly became powerless and withered, and could not be withdrawn.
Terror-stricken, the king appealed to the prophet to intercede with God in his behalf…. “And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.”
Vain had been Jeroboam’s effort to invest with solemnity the dedication of a strange altar, respect for which would have led to disrespect for the worship of Jehovah in the temple at Jerusalem. By the message of the prophet, the king of Israel should have been led to repent and to renounce his wicked purposes, which were turning the people away from the true worship of God. But he hardened his heart and determined to follow a way of his own choosing….
The Lord seeks to save, not to destroy. He delights in the rescue of sinners. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11). By warnings and entreaties He calls the wayward to cease from their evil-doing and to turn to Him and live. He gives His chosen messengers a holy boldness, that those who hear may fear and be brought to repentance. How firmly the man of God rebuked the king! And this firmness was essential; in no other way could the existing evils have been rebuked. The Lord gave His servant boldness, that an abiding impression might be made on those who heard. The messengers of the Lord are never to fear the face of man, but are to stand unflinchingly for the right. So long as they put their trust in God, they need not fear; for He who gives them their commission gives them also the assurance of His protecting care.
Conflict and Courage p. 202
—–Please pray for Louisiana officer Tyler Wheeler who was shot multiple times. God, we are praying for a complete healing! In Jesus name. Michael
In the 1890’s, when my grandfather, Edwin Harmon, was a little boy, his father got a job for a short time in Philadelphia. They left the farm where they had lived most of their lives and moved into a tiny upstairs apartment. For Ed and his little brother, Harold, this was very confining. They were used to roaming the fields, and now they had nothing much to do. It seemed that one of them were always thinking of some mischief. They knew they were in for a hard beating if they got caught, but that only added to the challenge.
One day Ed came into the apartment with stack of small paper sacks in his hand. Harold was about to ask him why he had all those sacks, but Ed quickly put his finger to his lips. Quietly he hid those sacks until their mother went shopping. They did not have long to wait. The next day their mother called them and said, “I have to go to the grocer’s, you two boys stay inside until I get back.” After they promised that they would obey, she left.
Ada had not been gone long, when Ed drew the sacks from their hiding place. Harold saw the grin on his face and was ready to join into whatever plan Ed had thought up. He filled one of the sacks almost full with water and twisted the top closed. Paper sacks were much thicker in those days. Quickly he went over to the open window and looked down to the street below. There were many people walking just below them. Ed took aim and dropped the water-filled sack. Immediately he ducked. Harold wanted to watch the sack hit its target, but Ed pulled him down with him. Instantly they heard a scream as some unsuspecting woman received a “shower.”
The two boys laid on the floor listening to the commotion below. After the passersby went on their way, Ed ran to fill another sack with water. Again he peered out the window and soon had another victim in view. He dropped the sack and flattened himself against the floor. A shout of surprise and anger met the boys’ ears. They had a hard time suppressing the giggles that threatened to let their presence known to the people below. One or two more people received an unwanted bath that day before Ed and Harold decided they had better stop before they got caught. They would save the rest of the sacks for another day.
God gave to man a gift that he does not always appreciate. This gift is work. Before sin, man’s work was easy and a real pleasure, but after the fall, God had to make it more difficult for mankind’s own good. This was to keep people so occupied that the mind does not have time to think up mischief. To Adam God said, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life, Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field, In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen 3:17-19
There is an old saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” and this is largely true. If a person has nothing to occupy his mind and his hands, he soon is tempted to do wrong. It is when a child has nothing to do that the evil one steals away the heart. Soon little habits become big ones and the character becomes stained.
How much we need a Deliverer! How much we need to remember Him! How much we need to fill our mind with good things and turn from the bad! Let us hide God’s Word in our heart that we might not be led astray. Let us thank our Great Creator for the employment that He gives to us. Let us “gird up the loins of mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, As obedient children, not fashioning according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called is holy, so be holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16