Don’t Shoot the Messenger

 

Today’s Passage – 2 Chronicles 13 – 17; Proverbs 20

(Second Milers also read – Acts 13 – 15; Memorize – Proverbs 10:19)

“And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. … Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.” – (2 Chronicles 16:7, 10)

This is a very sad story. As I was reading 2 Chronicles 13, I was excited to read about Abijah, the son of Reheboam, who actually was a pretty good king. There aren’t to many kings mentioned in the Bible that are actually good, so I was surprised to see that this man stood for the Lord, even though his father had not. And then in chapters 14 & 15 I read about Abijah’s son, Asa, who was an even better king than his father; at least initially. Those two chapters are full of the good things that Asa did. In fact the Scripture says that “he did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God”. However, when we get to chapter 16, things begin to fall apart. It seems that the kingdom of Judah was threatened by the northern kingdom of Israel; but instead of trusting in God to bring deliverance, Asa hired the kingdom of Syria to bail him out. God sent a “seer”, or prophet by the name of Hanani to deliver the message in 16:7. Hanani basically told Asa that God was “ticked off” because Asa trusted in man instead of putting his faith in the Lord Who had already delivered him through many other battles.

What happens next, however, puts the icing on the cake. Instead of receiving the message from Hanani who was basically just a messenger for God, Asa get’s mad and has him thrown in prison; just for delivering the message that God had told him to deliver. I have had the same experience as a preacher. I pray, and study, and ask the Lord to help me prepare and deliver just the right message to benefit the people in my church; but oftentimes people will become angry with what I have to say. Individuals sometimes think that I am targeting my message directly at them in order to get even with them or something. I am merely trying to preach the message that God has laid on my heart. I can’t speak for everybody, but I know that when I am listening to someone preach, and I find myself getting angry, it is always because the Holy Spirit of God is convicting me in that area. I get mad because my flesh doesn’t want to feel like there is anything wrong. I have trained myself to ask the question, “why am I getting angry right now?” I have learned not to direct my anger at the messenger, but to accept what the Lord is trying to teach me, as painful as it may be. None of us like to be corrected, but we all need it. A wise person will receive the correction from the Lord, and will thank the man (or woman) that has been sent by God to deliver the message.


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