1 Kings 13
-Jeroboam is now set to consecrate the place of worship in Bethel in the Northern Kingdom, but a man of God comes from Judah and cries out against the false alter with the prophesy of a future king specifically named Josiah who will sacrifice these fake priests of the high places who burn incense in idolatry, and human bones will be burned on it by the prophetic word (1 Kings 13:1-2). This comes true in every detail 300 some odd years later when King Josiah of Judah killed the pagan priests at their own alters (2 Kings 23:1-20).
-In the meantime, an immediate retribution is given by God as the altar is split apart and the ashes which were on it poured out. Jeroboam tried to cry out for someone to seize the man of God, but his hand that he stretched out against the prophet dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself (1 Kings 13:3-5). At this point, the northern king plead with the prophet for forgiveness and restoration from the LORD, which was granted and his hand returned to normal (1 Kings 13:6). The king wanted to refresh and reward the man of God, but the LORD had given him a strict word to not eat bread, drink water, nor return the way by which he came (1 Kings 13:7-9). He intended to keep the word of the LORD, but an old prophet in Bethel sent his sons out to retrieve him with a false word. The man of God from Judah heeded the lie of the old prophet and returned to eat and drink and be refreshed in Bethel. As this happened the old prophet got a valid prophetic word that the man of God had disobeyed the LORD and would die and not return to the grave of his fathers in Judah. This did happen as he went to journey back home on his donkey. A lion attacked the man of God and killed him without eating him. The lion simply stayed beside the prophet on the road as men passed by and saw it. The old prophet learned of this happening and sent his sons to get the body, which he buried in his own grave. He told his sons to bury him beside the man of God when he died, “for the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria (1 Kings 13:10-32).”
-“After this event Jeroboam did not return from his evil way, but again he made priests of the high places from among all the people; any who, he ordained, to be priests of the high places. This event became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to blot it out and destroy it from off the face of the earth (1 Kings 13:33-34).”
-*Application* We can see the importance of complete and utter obedience to the Father through the context of this story from history. Jeroboam disobeyed in his idolatrous rituals which he created to rival the Temple worship of the Living God. We also find that even a prophet, a man of God, can easily be deceived and tricked into disobedience with disastrous consequences. The moral of the story, “God can take swift and decisive action when He desires against defiance.” Jeroboam should have humbled himself and allowed for his people to continue to worship in Jerusalem to the One-True God. His kingdom would have lasted and been successful if he would have done this. The man of God should have stayed true to the actual word he got directly from the LORD and not been fooled by lying lips. When you have a direct word from the LORD from His Word, don’t be conned by others into disobedience by their shrewdness and false ways. God will judge us for our mistakes, so repent as soon as you realize your shortcomings and mistakes. He will forgive and be merciful (Hebrews 4:16).
Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 13:33