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, who said of me that I should be king over this people. Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. 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. And the Lord said to Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her.”
When she came, she pretended to be another woman. But when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another?” I Kings 14:1-6b ESV
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. Psalm 139:1-6 ESV
There’s a story about two young men named Valentine and Proteus. Valentine planned to visit a city called Verona, and he wanted his friend Proteus to come with him. Proteus didn’t want to go because he loved a young woman named Julia, but his father made him go. Julia missed Proteus, and she decided to go to Verona disguised as a man so she could see Proteus. Proteus didn’t even recognize her when she arrived in Verona, and he hired her to be his servant. This was a sad thing for Julia, because Proteus had fallen in love with another woman, and she had to help him with this situation.
Jeroboam’s son, who might have become the next king, became very sick. Jeroboam wanted to find out what would happen to him and if he’d get better, but he also knew that he had earned God’s anger and judgment by worshiping other gods. So he sent his wife to the prophet who had first told him that God had chosen him to be the king. This prophet was old and blind now, and Jeroboam thought he could fool him by telling his wife to wear a disguise and to pretend to be someone else. But God could see right through this woman’s disguise, and he told the prophet who was coming to see him. Her disguise didn’t work.
God can not only see through disguises, but he can also see through the ways we pretend to be different people than we really are. We might act pleasant or friendly when inside we feel mean and nasty and selfish. Other people might be fooled and think we’re wonderful people, but God sees what’s inside our hearts. This is bad news for us, but the good news is that God loves us and wants us to be his people. He sent Jesus to be our Savior and to die for all our sins, even the secret ones no one else can see. God sends us his Holy Spirit to work good changes in our hearts and lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and for forgiving all our sins, even the secret ones in our hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Shakespeare, William The Two Gentlemen of Verona