“And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person?” (1Kg 14:1-6)
*Deceptions shall fail
In this story we see how deceptive religious spirits try to manipulate others. One way is by the mode of dressing. The queen dresses as a poor woman, as a mother who loves her son seeking for his healing. Jeroboam tells her ‘to disguise’ herself as an ordinary woman. In Hebrew, the word ‘disguise’ means to fold into two, to duplicate or pervert the original. To disguise it means to change the appearance, the dressing, as to conceal the true identity of the person with the intention to mislead others. The man who disguises to deceive others is like an actor who changes his clothes and his behavior, to make a theatric character seem real. It is the practice of the hypocrites.
But the deception failed for God reveals the truth to the prophet, telling him that the queen pretends to be ‘another woman’. In Hebrew the word ‘pretend’ means to be strange looking. It also means to look carefully, to scrutinize, to discern, to suspect, to reject or ignore. To pretend means to live a fake life in an unreal world. This is purely the product of an unsanctified imagination.
Jeroboam did not visit the true prophet Ahijah until his son was dying and he needed help. He knew that he is a wicked man but he refused to repent. He wanted a prayer or a prophetic word from Ahijah who once told him he will be king. Jeroboam made rich men priests. He knew that they are false prophets. But when his son was sick he did not go to them for help, but to the true prophet Ahijah. Even so, his deception failed.
Finally, some soul searching questions: Do you desire to impress God? You should desire to please and serve God, never to impress Him. For nobody can impress God. To impress means to gain the admiration of somebody. Do not be deceived: God knows your heart and you cannot hide from Him. He knows that you are a sinner. He knows that only His grace can save you. God can never ‘admire’ any man, for that means to share His glory with man. And God can never do that. Only proud people foolishly imagine that they can impress God with their words, actions, offerings or ministry. Are you proud? Do you desire to please men or only yourself? Then you can never please God. Do you dress like an actor playing different roles? If you want others to see you as humble, then you dress like poor women? If you want to seduce others, then you dress like prostitutes? Do you have different standards of fashion in the church, on Sunday morning, than other days of the week? Do you go to God in prayer, or to a prophet, only when you are in trouble? Be honest with God and with your conscience! Repent and change! Let truth be the belt of your soul! Be free! In Jesus name, Amen!