Today’s readings.. (1 Kings 14), (Jeremiah 40), (Mark 14)
   Have you heard of the prophet Ahijah?  He plays a small but significant role during the reign of Solomon and also later. First, God sends him to Jeroboam, during Solomon’s reign, to tell him (1 Kings 11 v.29-39) that he would become king over most of Israel after Solomon’s death.  God’s message to Jeroboam, via Ahijah was, “if you will listen to all I command you … I will be with you and will build you a sure house” [v.38]
   Ahijah’s words came true and this should have influenced Jeroboam when he became king of the breakaway northern tribes of Israel after Solomon’s death.  But he used human wisdom to try to ensure the people remained loyal to him.  He feared that if they went up to the temple in Jerusalem to worship their loyalty to him would be undermined –  to prevent this he set up two places of worship in the northern kingdom, where he made golden calves and said these were the gods that had brought them out of Egypt long ago. He also appointed priests who were not Levites to administer the sacrifices.   Worse still he even offered sacrifices himself on the feast days (12 v.33)  
    We read yesterday (13 v.1) that “a man of God” came to prophecy against Jeroboam’s altar and said what was to happen here in the future (v.30. Now Jeroboam’s son and heir fell sick and he knew it was no good going to any of his priests or local prophets so, we read today, he sent his wife, disguised, to see the prophet Ahijah.
   The LORD told Ahijah she was coming and as she came in he cried out, “I am charged with unbearable news for you” [14 v.6].  The first part of the news was condemnation on Jeroboam  and his descendants because of his failure to serve God in the right way: the second, that the child would die as she got home.
   Surely we can see a parallel in these events with today.  The present generation has become totally unfaithful to the word of God. Five hundred years ago, when the Bible was first printed and available to the great majority to read, it transformed the way many people thought and caused a reformation.  If God sent a prophet today his message would be something like, “I am charged with unbearable news” for the whole earth.  This makes us think about the kind of message we should give – especially our personal message to neighbours and workmates – maybe something like – this world is doomed – there is only one way to live and have an expectation of a future.  By the will of God, there will be one here and one there that will not scoff – and “the seed” will take root.