“At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, ‘Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there . . . He will tell you what shall happen to the child.’ Jeroboam’s wife did so. She arose and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age.” 1 Kings 14:1-4
We live in a culture where truth is becoming vague. More and more people are finding it less and less problematic to be false when it is inconvenient to be honest. Can we trust anyone? How do people of integrity navigate in the thickening mist of intentional deception?
In ancient history, the passage above refers to Jeroboam, the first “leader” of the northern 10 tribes of Israel in the divided kingdom. He was a fearful, self-dependent, idolatrous man. Truth was a stranger in his home . . . a bothersome obstacle to his daily living.
He was a liar.
But his son was sick, and he wanted to know if he would recover.
In those days there were prophets: people of God who heard from God about the plans of God for others. And they shared these plans, often to their own pain and suffering.
Ahijah was one of these prophets. He lived in Shiloh, a village in the hill country of Ephraim, in central Israel. Earlier in Jeraboam’s life, Ahijah had heard from God that Jeraboam would be a king, and Ahijah shared this with Jeraboam. It happened just as he said.
Jeraboam remembered this.
So he wants to know what Ahijah knows about his son, but he doesn’t want Ahijah to know who’s asking (thoughts for another day!) So, he sends his wife to Ahijah’s house, dressed and acting as someone else . . . in a costume and manner to hide her identity as Jeraboam’s wife.
The record tells us that because of his age, Ahijah could no longer see, and into his house walks a woman in disguise.
It’s a double blind in Shiloh.
But not for God.
Before the woman arrives, God tells Ahijah that Jeraboam’s wife is coming over to see him, and He tells him what to say when she gets there. She pretends to be someone she isn’t, but Ahijah knows better.
Even in his blindness, he wasn’t fooled.
I don’t want to be fooled, either.
I have a serious fear of being deceived and being a victim of the manipulation deception breeds. In an ever-increasingly false culture, I feel an uncomfortable vulnerability and inability to see the scheming for what it is. What if I am just too naive or not clever enough to figure out that I am being . . . taken?
Too often in this, I feel alone.
But God is showing me with this story that He sees everything and is never fooled. No intrigue, scheme or disguise of man can cloud His awareness or interest in the course of our day. No blindness or inability of our own to perceive the facts will be a barrier to His leadership and speaking in our lives.
Because of Him, we will always know what He needs us to know when we need to know it.
We are not alone.
As He was present to show Ahijah the way, He is present to show us the way.
His Light is more powerful than the Night.
“In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.” Psalm 31:20