WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 20, 2021
TOPIC: WHEN A PROPHET INTERRUPTED AN ARMY OFFICERS’ CONFERENCE
BY T. O. BANSO
“But the LORD said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you’” (1 Samuel 16: 2b-3 New King James Version).
It was strictly a military affair. No invitation was extended to a civilian. It is not clear how a civilian entered the conference venue and where the conference was holding.
That they were not shocked by the man’s presence without an invitation is confusing. It is surprising that these military officers didn’t order his arrest and the arrest of the officers who allowed him to enter! This was an Army officers’ conference, not a Ministers’ Conference! Did he miss his way? No.
As he entered, he didn’t exchange pleasantries with anyone but went straight to the point. Nevertheless, they did not embarrass him. Maybe he was a familiar face. From his physical appearnce, they probably knew he was a prophet. He was a prophet on an urgent assignment from his boss, which must be executed without any error. The story is in 2 Kings 9.
The Bible says, “Meanwhile the prophet Elisha called one of the young prophets and said to him, ‘Get ready and go to Ramoth in Gilead. Take this jar of olive oil with you, and when you get there look for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi. Take him to a private room away from his companions, pour this olive oil on his head, and say, ‘The Lord proclaims that he anoints you king of Israel.’ Then leave there as fast as you can” (2 Kings 9:1-3 Good New Translation).
Some divine assignments could be dangerous or sensitive! This is an example. Any error could lead to the prophet sent on this assignment being arrested for inciting a coup! He must be discreet about it. He could not afford to allow any mistake. If you go and anoint someone as the king when there is still a king on the throne, you don’t expect the reigning king to be your friend.
This reminds me of the prophet Samuel when God told him to stop mourning over Saul and go and anoint one of Jesse’s sons to replace him. “Now the LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.’ And Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me’” (1 Samuel 16:1-2a New King James Version). Did you see that?
Samuel was not naïve. He didn’t expect Saul to be clapping for him if he heard he had gone to anoint another person as the king. Remember that he was the one who anointed Saul as the king. Samuel was not a coward. No, he was being realistic. Did God rebuke him for not having faith? No.
See God’s reply: “But the LORD said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you’ (1 Samuel 16:2b-3 New King James Version). Samuel did exactly what God told him to do.
He went to Bethlehem and as soon as the elders of the town saw him, they trembled and asked if he came peaceably. He told them he had come peaceably and to sacrifice to the LORD. He invited them to the sacrifice. But his real purpose of coming was to anoint a successor to Saul. He anointed David.
Some divine assignments are sensitive and must be handled with divine guidance and wisdom. Saul could go after Samuel to kill him for encouraging rebellion against him. But Saul kept pursuing David to kill him because some people were telling him that David sought to harm him (1 Samuel 24:9). That was sometimes after David had helped him to kill Goliath and the women had celebrated him. He was angry that the women ascribed to David “ten thousands” and to him only thousands. He thought they would soon give him the kingdom (1 Samuel 18:7-8). Nevertheless, he couldn’t kill David till he died.
Let’s go back to the Army Officers’ Conference. If you were the one your Senior Pastor, General Overseer, or Senior Prophet gave that assignment to go and anoint someone as the king when the king on the throne has not died, would you go? One could be arrested or killed by the king or the officers loyal to him at the point of delivering the message. But this young prophet that Elisha sent went. Elisha’s credibility as a genuine prophet might have emboldened him.
Look at the way he delivered the message: “So the young prophet went to Ramoth, where he found the army officers in a conference. He said, ‘Sir, I have a message for you.’ Jehu asked, ‘Which one of us are you speaking to?’ ‘To you, sir,’ he replied” (2 Kings 9:4-5 Good News Translation). Take note that this young prophet found the army officers in a conference? From his question, he knew Jehu whom his message was meant for.
Did you also see that these army officers were not hostile to the young prophet though he interrupted their conference? They seemed to have regard for him such that Jehu could leave the conference to go and receive the message he had for him.
2 Kings 9:6-10 says, “Then the two of them went indoors, and the young prophet poured the olive oil on Jehu’s head and said to him, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of my people Israel. You are to kill your master the king, that son of Ahab, so that I may punish Jezebel for murdering my prophets and my other servants. All of Ahab’s family and descendants are to die; I will get rid of every male in his family, young and old alike. I will treat his family as I did the families of King Jeroboam of Israel and of King Baasha of Israel. 1Jezebel will not be buried; her body will be eaten by dogs in the territory of Jezreel.’ After saying this, the young prophet left the room and fled” (Good News Translation).
Did you see how dangerous or sensitive the message was? The king of Israel at this time was the son of Ahab and Jezebel, Joram. He had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him when he fought with Hazael king of Syria (2 Kings 9:15).
Suppose he received intelligence about what Elisha and the young prophet did. He could have ordered their arrest and killed them. After all, his mother, Jezebel, wanted to kill the prophet Elijah. “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time’” (1 Kings 19:2 New King James Version). Elijah fled and asked God to kill him but He didn’t. Rather, He gave him a correct perspective and new assignments.
In 1 Kings 11, after the prophet Ahijah had prophesied to Jeroboam that he would rule over ten out of the twelve tribes of Israel and the house of David would rule over only one, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. That was despite the fact that the prophecy would not take effect during his reign. Jeroboam had to flee to Egypt (verses 28-40). Imagine what would have happened if the prophecy had affected his reign.
We’re still on the young prophet and the Army Officers’ Conference. This bold prophet interrupted the Conference and anointed Jehu, one of the commanders of Joram, king of Israel, as the king. This was a coup planned in heaven! After anointing Jehu as king and delivering his message, the young prophet left the room and fled. You don’t hang around after delivering such a message! It was left to Jehu what next to do.
When he came out from the room to join his fellow officers, I don’t know if they saw the anointing oil on his head and face! But they asked him, “Is everything all right? What did that crazy fellow want with you?” (Verse 11 Good News Translation).
Their description of the young prophet suggests that they probably knew him. Jehu tried to evade their question by saying, “You know what he wanted” but they replied that they didn’t know and he should tell them what he said. The New King James Version puts it thus: “Then Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, ‘Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?’ And he said to them, ‘You know the man and his babble’” (2 Kings 9:11). It is not clear why this officer called a prophet of God a madman. With this question, can one say that they probably granted the prophet audience because they feared him?
Jehu told them the main thing that happened. “He told me that the Lord proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of Israel.’ At once Jehu’s fellow officers spread their cloaks at the top of the steps for Jehu to stand on, blew trumpets, and shouted, ‘Jehu is king!’” (Verses 12b-13 Good News Translation). Jehu plotted against King Joram, who was in Jezreel, where he had gone to recover from the wounds quickly which he had received in the battle at Ramoth against King Hazael of Syria.
He told his fellow officers if they were with him, they must make sure nobody slipped out of Ramoth to go and warn the people in Jezreel. He knew if his plot failed, the punishment for treason was death. The young prophet and even Elisha would be accessories before the fact – persons who incited or assisted someone before the crime. However, the plot succeeded because it was from God. It was time for the house of Ahab to be punished for the evils Ahab and Jezebel had done.
2 Kings 9:7-10 says, “You shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. the whole house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both bond and free. So I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. The dogs shall eat Jezebel on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.’ And he opened the door and fled” (New King James Version).
Jehu killed King Joram, Ahaziah, the visiting king of Judah, and Jezebel, King Joram’s mother. Jehu ordered the killing of Ahab’s 70 sons. He also killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining (2 Kings 10:1-11). In addition, he killed King Ahaziah’s forty-two brothers (2 Kings 10:12-14).
He tricked all Baal worshipers and killed them (2 Kings 10:18-28). Jehu ended being a blood-thirsty king for which the prophet Hosea prophesied that the LORD would avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu (Hosea 1:4).
Jehu went beyond the assignment God gave him. Jehu announced his zeal for the LORD (2 Kings 10:16), “But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin” (2 Kings 10:31 New King James Version).
Be careful. Don’t go beyond the assignment God gave you. Don’t let your zeal becloud your reasoning. Beware of misdirected zeal. Be controlled by the Holy Spirit, not your zeal. Do God’s work God’s way, not your own way so that you can receive from God, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
If you have a sensitive assignment from the Lord, don’t be careless or slack. Have faith in God but also don’t be naïve. Learn from the prophet Samuel and this young prophet. Don’t waste time in carrying out your assignment and know when to run!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be afraid to carry out God’s assignments for me in Jesus’ name. I shall not be slack or careless. I receive wisdom to do all God wants me to do. I shall take heed to walk in the Word of God with all my heart. I shall do God’s work God’s way. I shall not go beyond God’s mandate for me. I shall not be controlled by my zeal but by the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, help me to finish well.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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