Shemaiah and political correctness

Posted: October 14, 2010 in Me and God, Me and people, The Bible

Have you ever heard of the prophet Shemaiah? We’re all more familiar with other better known prophets in the Bible like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. However, this one prophet Shemaiah is one that though not much about him is known (This may actually be the only thing we know of him), there is a key example –, we learn from him in this passage.

Background just in case: The Bible starts relating in the book of Genesis, the story of some individuals (From Adam through Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all the way until Joseph and his family move to Egypt. (around 1,700bc). Then the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy tells us how –a couple of hundred years later, they moved out of Egypt into the promised land and are established as the nation of Israel with over 2 million people –some highlights: burning bush, Red Sea crossing, 40 years in the wilderness, etc. (around 1,450bc). After that, from Joshua to 2 Samuel, we read how they developed from a nation ruled by ‘judges’ to a nation ruled by ‘kings’ (Saul, David and Solomon –around 930bc)

The story (From 1 Kings 11-12): Right after King Solomon died, God issued a judgment against Israel (for they had forsaken God’s commands) by which the United Kingdom of Israel would be split in two; the northern kingdom -Israel, to be lead now by Jeroboam (10 tribes) and the reminder 2 tribes as the southern kingdom –Judah, to be led by Solomon’s son Rehoboam. Rehoboam didn’t like this and tried to take care of it by killing king Jeroboam and going into war against the Israelites with 180,000 fighting men.

This is when God spoke to prophet Shemaiah saying: “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, …’This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.” –and Shemaiah obeyed and delivered the message.

Does this shock you the same way it shocks me? An army of 180,000 soldiers going to war and little Shemaiah stands against them proclaiming the message God gave him to them… wouldn’t this be a bit politically incorrect? would you have done it?

Would you declare the Word of God against a ‘ready-to-fight’ army?

Would you declare the Word of God against a small group of ‘we-don’t-agree-with-you’ people?

Would you declare the Word of God against one ‘ready-to-make-fun-of-you’ person?

I like how Charles Spurgeon concludes:

“Here is one Shemaiah, – some of you never heard of him before, perhaps you will never hear of him again; he appears once in this history, and then he vanishes; he comes, and he goes, – only fancy this one man constraining to peace a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men, warriors ready to fight against the house of Israel, by giving to them in very plain, unpolished words, the simple command of God . . . Why have we not such power? Peradventure, brethren, we do not always speak in the name of the Lord, or speak God’s Word as God’s Word. If we are simply tellers out of our own thoughts, why should men mind us?” -Spurgeon


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s