Soon I plan to end this series “The Science of Judgment.” I could go on indefinately with examples throughout the scriptures veryifying the science of judgment. God is no respecter of persons or nations; He is perfectly fair and just. He holds the entire universe within His laws of existence. Men within nations who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior still recognize a force within nature that has a cause and effect. They recognize that there are consequences for choices people make in their lives. They realize that there are dynamics within the world that they recognize as real. Yet they have rejected the author of truth and are then blinded by the truth just as Romans chapter one describes. Let us now look at a few more examples of how God holds people accountable for the knowledge they possess as well as the moral laws they once intuitively knew but have rebelliously rejected through their pride.
1 Kings 13 “7And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. 8And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: 9For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. 10So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.”
We see that this God-fearing prophet had just obeyed God by refusing to accept King Jeroboam’s hospitality as a reward for his part in praying for the King’s withered hand which was healed (1 Kings 13:6-10). You will also note that this righteous prophet had the faith to rebuke the king and have God use him to bring about three miracles (drying up the King’s hand; rending of the altar; healing the withered hand). Please read 1 Kings 13:1-6. Yet, this godly, righteous prophet who was faithful to rebuke the king and do three miracles in verses 1-6, disobeyed the word of the Lord in verses 11-19, please read below.
“11Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. 12And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. 13And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, 14And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. 15Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. 16And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. 18He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. 19So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.”
Please take notice that the prophet already refused taking the hospitality of the grateful king as commanded of the Lord in verses 7-11. The prophet would not sleep or dine in his house. But now we read in v 11-19 that an old prophet in Bethel deceives this righteous prophet who just was victorious with the idolatrous King Jeroboam. The righteous prophet somehow lets his guard down thus becoming disobedient in returning to Bethel and eating with the older prophet (v 8, 9, 21, 22).
There is so much to learn in these verses. The righteous prophet should have recognized that he was being lied to by the older prophet because an angel of the Lord would never go against the word of God in giving different instructions to this righteous prophet. We all should never listen to other people, thoughts or spirits who try and tell us to do something contrary to the Scriptures which is a word from God. We also need to recognize how serious God is about his children obeying him. The orders from God to his prophet were clear, definite, and unmistakable; thus, it was direct disobedience when the righteous prophet returned with the older prophet to lodge and eat with him. Remember in Matthew 18:15-18, the Lord has made it clear that we are to have no fellowship with those former brethren who know better but choose to defy the Lord in disobedience. Many godly Israelites amongst the ten tribes had already left their homes to strengthen Rehoboam and oppose idolatry. The older prophet who lied to this righteous prophet had remained in Bethel - one of the two places where the golden calves were worshipped. Thus, to eat with either the older prophet or Jeroboam was tantamount to agreeing with their sins. Scripture tells us in Exodus 20:5 that “God is a Jealous God.” In other words, serving other religions/gods is allowing Lucifer to continue in his rebellion against Jesus Christ consequently causing trouble on earth to innocent victims, etc. The Lord holds us responsible for the truth we possess as Luke 12:47-48 tells us.
The nation was at a critical point in their history and the righteous prophet’s actions were detrimental so God had to show His disapproval of the prophet’s choice to eat with this older prophet. Finally, it is important to realize that indeed this was the judgment of God on this righteous prophet who made a serious mistake in his decision to eat at Bethel. God used a lion to kill the prophet and He used the backslidden older prophet to prophecy this. God does use sinful nations, tyrants, animals, insects, angels, the weather, etc., to execute his judgment. Lions would normally have killed the ass before the man because God has put a fear of man in the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:26). Also note that the lion did not eat the prophet after it killed him. This is totally unnatural as lions kill only when they need to eat. Please read the following below:
“20And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: 21And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 25And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him. 27And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him. 28And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. 29And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 30And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! 31And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: 32For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.”
Now let us read and examine the story about King Ahab. King Ahab was rebuked by a prophet of God for showing mercy to God’s enemies. Instead of executing God’s judgment by destroying King Benhadad and his army, King Ahab made a covenant with Syria thus allowing Benhadad and the army to live. God was so displeased with King Ahab that he had the prophet predict to Ahab that he would be defeated in the next war with Syria. His life and the lives of his people would receive the punishment that he should have executed on the King of Syria and his army. We need to understand the serious consequences of disobeying God: we ourselves will be judged along with those we lead whether it be our family, business, church or nation. People are either blessed or suffer because of a leader’s obedience to God or a leader’s rebellion and distrust of God’s word revealed in the Scriptures. Also, people have a responsibility for who they elect into office and whether they obey them. When the leader asks the people to do something clearly against the commandments of God the people are to respectfully disobey that leader. Please refer to my article titled: “A Christian’s Responsibility to a Hostile Government.”
1 Kings 20 “31And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life. 32So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother. 33Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34And Benhadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.”
In the following verses we will read of a person being killed by a lion which the Lord used to judge a person who would not obey the orders given to him by a prophet. In this case the man, by refusing to obey the prophet and strike him, took sides with evil King Ahab and God judged both the king and the man who would not cooperate with the prophet. The prophet wanted this man to help him so the prophet could disguise his appearance and deliver a message from the Lord to the king. Compromise destroys a person and God holds that person guilty. When a person refuses to obey the counsel of a righteous servant of God, that person is actually refusing to obey God!
“35And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him. 36Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.”
Here is another example of God using an animal (lion) to execute His will. It is amazing how all of creation seems to find it easier to obey God than most men do. Based upon the total fairness and justice of God, I am sure this person who refused to obey the Lord by helping the prophet disguise himself also had countless times refused to obey the prompting of the word of God through the spirit of God and the known commandments of God. This was not an isolated incident of a person who we should have pity upon. This, no doubt, was a habitually rebellious and disobedient person who would not let the Scriptures, or any other means God chose, to speak to him (including servants of God). If you and I will not allow God to use us, then God will just use another vessel who will have the opportunity to be blessed of God through the obedience of service. Please read on!
“37Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him. 38So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face. 39And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. 40And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it. 41And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. 42And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. 43And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.”
We see that when King Ahab left the prophet he was sad because the prophecy was against him, but Ahab did not repent. So many times people get a word from the Lord through the Scriptures or another servant of God (as is the case in the story of King Ahab), yet, many times, people do not repent. In fact, many times people even get very angry and hostile. All through the Scriptures, servants of God were rejected, imprisoned, and killed because they gave a word from the Lord to a person. In 2 Kings 5:1, 8-14, Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was very angry because he travelled to Elisha’s house to be prayed for by Elisha. Naaman suffered from leprosy but Elisha would not come out to pray for him. Instead, he sent the great man, Naaman, instructions from the Lord through Gehazi who was Elisha’s servant. Naaman’s anger illustrates the intense pride of men who are angry because they want a word from God directly from the individual. This is probably why the person is sick, angry, has nothing but problems in their relationships with other people, and their business never prospers. Naaman nearly refused to obey the instructions from Elisha through Gehazi because of his anger and pride but finally followed the instructions and was healed. Do you want to be healed or do you want to continue in “The Science of Judgment?’
Now let us continue to read examples of judgment due to proud men who hold a prophet of the Lord in contempt. This reveals how men truly lose the fear of the Lord and mock a righteous man. In the example below, it is actually equivalent to blasphemy because the infidel men of Bethel (who were worshippers of the golden calf) mocked Elisha as a prophet of Jehovah. In these verses, God actually uses two bears to kill the 42 men who were mocking this righteous prophet. Do you know proud men who act in rage and make all sorts of allegations and mockings against a man of God because they do not want to be corrected?
2 Kings 2 “23And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 25And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.”
Now let us take a look at another type of judgment. Many people today out of lust desire what is not theirs. They deceive people in the process of accumulating wealth. This selfishness is the root of all sin including Cain killing Abel and Adam eating the forbidden fruit. The Scriptures warn us that the wages of sin is war, poverty and death not life, liberty, and prosperity. Elisha knew Gehazi’s heart was now evil as when Satan entered Judas’ heart and he betrayed Jesus. For this reason I believe Gehazi was judged, what might have first appeared to be, harshly. God knows the heart and the capability of people when they have had all of the benefits of the Kingdom but reject them for selfish ambitions. Absalom betrayed his father for selfish ambitions and led a nation into civil war as he led an attempted coup. All the nations of the world today suffer under selfish leaders; thus, they suffer poverty, corruption, crime, murder, disease and death. Yes, when men’s hearts turn evil the beast spirit starts to reign and genocide can be the end result as in many nations today where millions of people have been slaughtered. Today, many people suffer from all forms of disease many times initiated by their sins.
2 Kings 5 “20But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. 21So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? 22And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. 23And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. 24And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed. 25But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. 26And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? 27The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.”
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Blessings, Jonathan Hansen
© 2005 World Ministries International