So when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet entering the door, he said, "Come in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you disguised? For I have been sent to you with bad news.
I. SIN SEEKS DISGUISES.
1. Truth needs none.
(1) It is naturally open. "He that doeth truth cometh to the light."
(2) It has nothing to be ashamed of. It is self-consistent, harmonious, lovely.
(3) It ought to be displayed; its influence is elevating (Philippians 2:15, 16). The saint who hides his light wrongs his race.
(4) Churches are constituted that Christians should, to the best advantage, witness for Christ. They are the candlesticks (see Matthew 5:14-16; Revelation 1:20). Note: Christians should discourage the eccentricity that would lead them away from the Churches.
2. It is otherwise with sin.
(1) It is naturally close. The sinner has as instinctive an aversion to the light as the owl and the bat, his types.
(2) It has everything to be ashamed of. It is self-contradictory, discordant, frightfully and monstrously ugly.
(3) It ought, by the impenitent sinner, to be concealed. For he could only desire to disclose it in order to infect and demoralize others.
(4) But the true should drag it to the light, that its deformity might be seen, abhorred, and execrated.
II. GOD SEES THROUGH ALL DISGUISES.
1. Nature itself teaches this.
(1) He that formed the eye, can He not see? (Exodus 4:10-12; Psalm 94:9.)
(2) He that formed the mind, can He not perceive? (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 7:9; Proverbs 15:11; Revelation 2:23.)
2. It is evinced in the visions of prophecy.
(1) How far-reaching are those visions! The end was seen from the beginning. The instalments fulfilled certify the remainder.
(2) How deep their insight into the secret workings of the heart! The secret ambition of Jeroboam, when he was yet the servant of Solomon, was read by Ahijah (1 Kings 11:37). Now he sees through the disguise of the queen and reads its motives.
3. This should be considered.
(1) How foolish are disguises where God is concerned! And where is God not concerned?
(2) Those who would deceive God only deceive themselves.
(3) What disclosures will the day of judgment make! (1 Corinthians 3:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5.) What a day of trembling to the hypocrite!
III. GOD CAN OPEN THE EYES OF THE BLIND.
(1) Miracles upon the sight were occasionally wrought in ancient times (Genesis 19:11; 2 Kings 6:18).
(2) Many such were wrought by Christ.
(1) The prophets were gifted with spiritual vision. They were therefore called seers. Their prophecies were called visions.
(2) Such vision had Ahijah. His natural sight had now failed him (ver. 4), yet he saw Jeroboam's queen before she came into his presence, saw through her disguises, and discerned the purpose of her visit.
(3) Spiritual vision is not exclusively the privilege of prophets.
(a) God gives this to the sinner when He discovers to him the exceeding sinfulness of sin. God strips him of the disguises by which he would deceive himself, and exhibits his own life likeness to his conscience.
(b) God gives it to believers, when He witnesses His pardon and their adoption, to their spirits. (See Acts 26:17, 18; Ephesians 1:18.) Have your eyes been opened? Pray God that Satan may never succeed in throwing his dust into them. - J.A.M.
Why feignest thou thyself to be another?I. WICKEDNESS INVOLVES OTHERS, TRYING TO MAKE THEM ITS DUPES, ITS ALLIES, AND ITS SCAPEGOATS. Jeroboam proposed to hoodwink the Lord's prophet. Iniquity is a brag, but it is a great coward. It lays the plan, gets some one else to execute it — puts down the gunpowder train, gets some one else to touch it off — contrives mischief, gets some one else to work it — starts the lie, gets some one else to circulate it. Jeroboam plots the lie, contrives the imposition, and gets his wife to execute it. Stand off from all imposition and chicanery. Do not consent to be anybody's dupe, anybody's ally in wickedness, anybody's scapegoat.
II. ROYALTY SOMETIMES PASSES IN DISGUISE. The frock, the veil, the hood of the peasant woman hid the queenly character of this woman of Tirzah. Nobody suspected that she was a queen or a princess as she passed by; but she was just as much a queen as though she stood in the palace, her robes encrusted with diamonds. Glory veiled. Affluence hidden. A queen in mask. A princess in disguise. When you think of a queen you do not think of Catharine of Russia, or Maria Theresa of Germany, or Mary Queen of Scots. When you think of a queen you think of a plain woman who sat opposite your father at the table, or winked with him down the path of life arm in arm — sometimes to the thanksgiving banquet, sometimes to the grave, but always side by side, soothing your little sorrows and adjusting your little quarrels. "Mother, mother!" Ah! she was the queen. Your father knew it. You knew it. She was the queen, but the queen in disguise. The world did not recognise it.
III. HOW PEOPLE PUT ON MASKS, AND HOW THE LORD TEARS THEM OFF. It was a terrible moment in the history of this woman of Tirzah when the prophet accosted her, practically saying, "I know who you are; you cannot cheat me; you cannot impose upon me; why feignest thou thyself to be another?" She had a right to ask for the restoration of her son: she had no right to practise that falsehood. It is never right to do wrong.
IV. HOW PRECISE, AND ACCURATE, AND PARTICULAR, ARE GOD'S PROVIDENCES. Just at the moment that woman entered the city the child died. Just as it was prophesied, so it turned out, so it always turns out. The sickness comes, the death occurs; the nation is born, the despotism is overthrown at the appointed time. God drives the universe with a stiff rein. Events do not just happen so. Things do not go slipshod. In all the book of God's providences there is not one "if." God's providences are never caught in deshabille. To God there are no surprises, no disappointments, and no accidents. The most insignificant event flung out in the ages is the connecting link between two great chains — the chain of eternity past and the chain of eternity to come.
(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)
1. This occasional hearer was totally destitute of all true piety. Most occasional hearers are. Those who have true religion are not occasional hearers.
2. The second remark about these occasional hearers is, that when they do come, they very generally come because they are in trouble. When Jeroboam's wife came and spoke to the prophet, it was because the dear child was ill at home.
3. This woman would not have come but that her husband sent her on the ground that he had heard Ahijah preach before. It was this prophet who took Jeroboam's mantle and rent it in pieces, and told him he was to be king over the ten tribes. That message proved true; therefore Jeroboam had confidence in Ahijah.
4. They had one godly member of their family, and that brought them to see the prophet. Their child was sick and ill, and it was that which led them to inquire at the hands of the Lord.
5. But there is one sad reflection which should alarm the occasional hearer. Though Jeroboam's wife did come to the prophet that once, and heard tidings, yet she and her husband perished after all.
II. THE USELESS DISGUISE. Jeroboam's wife thought to herself, "If I go to see Ahijah, as he knows me to be the wife of Jeroboam, he is sure to speak angrily, and give me very bad news." Strange to tell, though the poor old gentleman was blind, she thought it necessary to put on a disguise. There was a Judas among the twelve; there was a Demas among the early disciples; and we must always expect to find chaff on God's floor mingled with the wheat. After the most searching ministry, there are still some who will wrap themselves about with a mantle of deception.
III. THE HEAVY TIDINGS. Sinner, unrepenting sinner, I have heavy tidings for thee. The wrath of God abideth on thee.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
PeopleAbijah, Abijam, Ahijah, David, Israelites, Jeroboam, Naamah, Nadab, Rehoboam, Shishak, Sodomites, Solomon, Tirzah
PlacesBethel, Egypt, Euphrates River, Jerusalem, Shiloh, Tirzah
TopicsAhijah, Ahi'jah, Ahijah's, Bad, Bitter, Charged, Door, Doorway, Feignest, Footsteps, Harsh, Hearing, Heavy, Jeroboam, Jerobo'am, Making, Message, News, O, Opening, Pass, Pretend, Pretense, Seem, Sharp, Strange, Thyself, Tidings, Wife
Outline1. Abijah being sick,
2. Jeroboam sends his wife, disguised, with presents to the prophet Ahijah
5. Ahijah forewarned by God, denounces God's judgment
17. Abijah dies, and is buried
19. Nadab succeeds Jeroboam
21. Rehoboam's wicked reign,
25. Shishak raids Jerusalem
29. Abijam succeeds Rehoboam
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 14:1-6
LibrarySynopsis. --The Gradual Narrowing of the Miraculous Element in the Bible by Recent Discovery and Discussion. --The Alarm Thereby Excited in the Church. --The Fallacy Which
It is barely forty years since that beloved and fearless Christian scholar, Dean Stanley, spoke thus of the miracles recorded of the prophet Elisha: "His works stand alone in the Bible in their likeness to the acts of mediaeval saints. There alone in the Sacred History the gulf between Biblical and Ecclesiastical miracles almost disappears." It required some courage to say as much as this then, while the storm of persecution was raging against Bishop Colenso for his critical work on the Pentateuch. …
James Morris Whiton—Miracles and Supernatural Religion
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