When was the last time someone gave you a heads-up? It may have been an unsolicited comment from a disgruntled restaurant patron, or the double flash of high beams from an oncoming driver, or even a wide-eyed emoji at the end of a co-worker's foreboding text. This intentional advisement was offered as a courtesy to help you successfully navigate an impending experience.
Along our faith journey, sometimes it is God who graciously offers the heads-up. In I Kings 14:4, we discover a man named Ahijah who “could not see, for his eyes were glazed by reason of his age.”
This extraordinary gift was given to prepare the visually challenged prophet for an impending knock on his door from a visitor who was not quite who they appeared to be. “Here is the wife of Jeroboam, coming to ask you something about her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus you shall say to her; for it will be, when she comes in, that she will pretend to be another woman.”
The Scripture then goes on to say, “And so it was.” Talk about a divine heads-up!
Two seemingly contrary feelings came to mind as I read these verses. One offered hope and the other, a reality check. First, I was encouraged. This wonderfully detailed celestial counsel eliminated Ahijah's vulnerability to deception. That gift, I believe, was and is reflective of the relentlessly kind intention of God's will toward us. Amos confidently assures us, “Surely, the Sovereign Lord does nothing without first revealing it to the prophets” [3:7]. Through Isaiah, God reassures us, “New things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them” [42:9] and “Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you” [48:5]. Be encouraged, beloved. When we have a need to know, we can rest in the assurance that God is willing to intervene with purposeful advisement.
Secondly, I was challenged. Ahijah's response holds up a mirror to my heart as I look for both unwavering integrity and gracious compassion. You see, the purpose of a divine heads-up is not to stroke our ego. It is given to set captives free.
Had he lacked that integrity and compassion, Ahijah could have smugly reveled with a self-assured, hands-clasped-behind-the-head lean back into his tall leather desk chair, "Ah... I still got it. That's why they call me 'prophet.'" Ahijah could have chosen to hoard the word of knowledge as a trophy of his spirituality. But he didn't.
Instead, Ahijah chose to heed God's counsel and mercifully preserve the dignity of a woman forced into deception. "When he heard her footsteps at the door, he called out, 'Come in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else?'" [I Kings 14:6]. Did you catch that? (Take a moment and read that again). She didn't have to knock on the door. In fact, she didn't even have to say anything! Grace took the risk and with courageous intervention, he mercifully spared Jereboam's wife the painful humiliation of proceeding with this charade. Oh, such a beautiful portrait of grace that sets us free from folly.
Precious one, on your faith journey today, recognize that people, circumstances, and business opportunities may come knocking at your door with less than stellar intent. Be open to the counsel of the Holy Spirit, knowing that the God who generously offered Ahijah the gift of a heads-up offers it to you and to me... both for us and for those we will encounter.
For us: The heads up may be a gift to eliminate our vulnerability to deception. For indeed, no weapon that is formed against us will prosper [Isaiah 54:17].
For those we will encounter: Consider that God may have given that heads-up to ultimately preserve life as we attentively listen for the "footsteps at the door" and walk in the courageous grace that spares someone from proceeding further in folly [Genesis 50:20].
If you are sensing a "yes and amen" in your heart, why not pray with me. The text of this recent worship song is a great starting place. *"Holy, there is no one like You, there is none beside You. Open up my eyes in wonder. And show me who You are and fill me with Your heart, and lead me in Your love to those around me." Amen. Join me in expectation and let's watch and see what God will do!
If this blog has been meaningful to you, I invite you to do two things. Subscribe to the blog. You will be one of the first to receive a heads up when a new entry is posted! Then, I invite you to share this blog with your sphere of friends. You never know how God might sustain the weary through a simple word of encouragement!
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