TOPIC: A CRY AGAINST EVIL ALTARS
Read: 1 Kings 13:1-5
1 Kings 13:1-5 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.
And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
MEMORISE: Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.'” (1 Kings 13:2)
Altar, usually a raised, typically flat-topped structure or area where religious ceremonies or sacrifices are performed, is a consecrated point of contact between God and His worshipers. The altar is a very significant place in the realm of worship. No altar, no sacrifice!
Jeroboam, the Chief of Staff to King Solomon, obviously became an opportunist and beneficiary of the divided Israel (1 Kgs. 12:16). Providentially, but undeservedly, he was lavished with the luxury of having 10 out of 12 tribes swung to his side, with only 2 left to Solomon’s successor (1 Kgs. 12:20). To score cheap political points, he masterminded and succeeded in diverting God’s people’s true worship from the central, Jerusalem, to where God didn’t approve of in the first place (1 Kgs. 12:12-13).
This, he did and eventually led Israel (the Northern Kingdom) to idolatry, which God despises (1 Kgs.12:28). Because he feared losing his kingdom (was it really his, in the first place?) to David’s house, Jeroboam led Israel to apostasy (1 Kgs. 12:27)! What are you trying to secure by hook and crook? The end is disastrous. Jeroboam’s error should teach us lessons.
An anonymous man of God appeared from Judah to Bethel, crying against the satanic altar that Jeroboam had built. Are we doing such, today? Does anything not go in our holy places? Who is crying with passion against evil altars in our land? If these altars remain in our families, churches and societies, the result will always be the same. Lukewarm attitude, lethargy, unprofitability, decline, and decadence will always result in problems, both spiritually and physically.
Dear devout, you owe it a godly duty to serve as God’s mouthpiece in this perverse generation (1 Pet. 2:9). Be very readily available for God’s use, in whatever capacity. lt is high time we returned the world to the true worship, with holiness and peace with all men, without which we cannot see the Lord. Stay lifted.
1. God, enable me to be Your vessel of honour in this generation.
2. Lord, crush every evil altar negating Your purpose for my life, home, ministry, career, vocation, etc., in Jesus’ name.
3. O Lord, expose and render ineffective every so called minister of God secretly raising evil altars amidst us, in Jesus’ name.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Psalms 80:9 – 84:10; 1 Cor 2:9 – 3:14