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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The LORD will lead them.

Solomon had turned away from The LORD and started following other gods.  Even with all the wisdom provided by God, Solomon walked away from God.  So, The LORD prepared to remove ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel from Solomon, giving it to a new king: Jeroboam.

One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him along the way. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone in a field, and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. Then he said to Jeroboam, "Take ten of these pieces, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and I will give ten of the tribes to you! But I will leave him one tribe for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. (1 Kings 11:29-32 NLT)

The LORD delivered the message to Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah.  A prophet is simply a spokesperson for God.  Prophets are called by God to deliver messages from God to a person or group of people.  We’ve seen this before.  Moses functioned as a prophet when he told Pharaoh to let God’s people go free.  He also functioned as a prophet when giving Israel the ten commandments, Levitical laws, and even seasons and festivals to celebrate.  Before he died, The LORD told Moses to let the Israelites know that more prophets would come after him.

Moses continued, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. (Deuteronomy 18:15 NLT)

These (at the time) future prophets would have signs, miracles, or short-term predictions given by God to prove that they are speaking for The LORD.  If they don’t have a miracle or they get a prediction wrong: stone them to death.  The prophet would also teach them to follow the same God that had been revealed thus far.  In other words, their teachings would be in sync with the Scriptures of their day.  These tests were passed by every prophet captured in the pages of the Bible.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV)

God empowered prophets to provide miracles and predictions.  The LORD provided prophets the words to speak.  All of this was given to the prophets through the Holy Spirit of God.  This Spirit was not only offered to the prophets of old.  This Spirit was provided to the Apostles of the New Testament era as well.  Jesus told them that it would happen ahead of time.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NLT)

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the Apostles waited until God provided the Holy Spirit to empower them in their ministries.  On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on them in the form of tongues of fire.  They began speaking in different languages – preaching the Gospel to the different people groups who were gathered in town at the time.  When the crowds heard that Jesus was the Messiah that they had been waiting for, they felt convicted and asked: “What must we do to be saved?”

"Repent," Peter said to them, "and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:38-39 HCSB)

The same Spirit that empowered Moses, the Prophets, and the Apostles is now available to you and me.  When we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we are doing the same thing the people did on that day of Pentecost.  When we repent (turn back to God) and are baptized (immersed in water) in the name of Jesus Christ, we are following in the rest of their steps.  We, too, receive forgiveness for our sins AND the gift of the Holy Spirit.  God empowers us to do our part of God’s plan.  The LORD is ready to lead us.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 ESV)

How about you?  Are you a follower of The LORD?  Have you been empowered by God to do your part of God’s plan?  Will you allow The LORD to lead you?