Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 202

A Paralyzed Arm, July 15

1 Kings 13:1-6

And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 1 Kings 13:4.

Jeroboam was filled with a spirit of defiance against God and attempted to restrain the one who had delivered the message. In wrath “he put forth his hand from the altar” and cried out, “Lay hold on him.” His impetuous act met with swift rebuke. The hand outstretched against the messenger of Jehovah suddenly became powerless and withered, and could not be withdrawn.

Terror-stricken, the king appealed to the prophet to intercede with God in his behalf.... “And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.”

Vain had been Jeroboam's effort to invest with solemnity the dedication of a strange altar, respect for which would have led to disrespect for the worship of Jehovah in the temple at Jerusalem. By the message of the prophet, the king of Israel should have been led to repent and to renounce his wicked purposes, which were turning the people away from the true worship of God. But he hardened his heart and determined to follow a way of his own choosing....

The Lord seeks to save, not to destroy. He delights in the rescue of sinners. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11). By warnings and entreaties He calls the wayward to cease from their evil-doing and to turn to Him and live. He gives His chosen messengers a holy boldness, that those who hear may fear and be brought to repentance. How firmly the man of God rebuked the king! And this firmness was essential; in no other way could the existing evils have been rebuked. The Lord gave His servant boldness, that an abiding impression might be made on those who heard. The messengers of the Lord are never to fear the face of man, but are to stand unflinchingly for the right. So long as they put their trust in God, they need not fear; for He who gives them their commission gives them also the assurance of His protecting care.30Ibid., 102-105.

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