Introduction 1 Kings 13:1-34
God's direction for our lives is something that God has spoken to every individual. We need to look into an account where God gave a man a task of judgment and power to send a message to a King that would bring fear to all the heard it. It also shows man's response to the direction of God and his failure to follow instructions. We must understand that we have fundamental values in teaching the word. God has mold us into what he wants us to be and unless the lord speaks otherwise you need to be mindful of consequences that will surly come your way if you disobey.
1. God Commands (1 kings 13:1-34)
· Man of God was commanded to go and judge the altar and the false gods of the king
· Thru the Man of God, he reveals his displeasure of sin and false religion
· (Heb 4:12-13) All things are naked before God, you can not lie to him about your intentions
· The king thru false gods tried to lead a nation into a false sense of security and sin
· Leaders will do this, we seem to think that just because they are leader they will do the right thing
a. We have 2 forces at work good and evil, unfortunately good is not always in charge
b. The king was wicked and lead the people to sin, evil government is not ruled by the Word of God
c. If you nations leadership does not acknowledge the bible, it will guide it's people astray
d. It is important that Jesus plays a part in government otherwise our nations are open to false gods
e. Examine the USA, politicians now accept all beliefs, homos, Satanism and attack the church
· We are now faced with a nation that attacks God and allows Satan to replace the laws of God, expound
· God command the Man of God, you and I to speak against the sins of the nations
· (Matt 13:47--50) God came to proclaim righteousness not appeasement
· (1 Cor 1:19-25) To the world the preaching is silly, we are viewed as fools and hated for it
· The king commanded for the MOG to be taken by force, he was to be punished
a. God shows who's in control, we have favor with God to proclaim his word and signs will follow
b. When God has directed you he also provides the authority to stand before evil doers
c. The kinds hand withered, (Isaiah 54:17) No weapon shall overcome us, not to say that there won't be opposition, the king did attack.
2. Man of God Speaks (vs. 1-5)
· When we speak his word according to God's instruction you will see results
· The 1st is man gets mad, confrontation and threats, this has always been the case.
· God's will established, people will know you represent the Lord of Host
· Preaching is the tool God has given the church, it is powerful
a. Have you've notice how when you preach people immediate will react, even in websites
b. We have no problem with dating, evil, studies but just don't preach this is offensive.
c. Yet, this is what God has called us to, (Phil 2:10-11)
- (Matt 10:32-33 & Rev 3:5-6) We must confess the Lord and his plan before all
- Regardless of the cost, there will be resistance, learn to deal with it
- Warfare will always be opposed, there will always be battle, you will lose some and win
- Your not playing by the rules the Gospel is a personal one, only speak when asked
- Well God has asked, the MOG to proclaim
- (James 3:1-8) The words we speak are deadly in foolish people
- The nations also preach a gospel of unrighteousness, the king did not repent (Vs 33-34)
- Appeasement will not win the world, You must preach Jesus and him crucified
- It would be wonderful to preach and the world repent but even Jesus had to deal with evil
- He preaching took him to the cross and so will yours, don't be deceived
- How can I preach and not offended, it's impossible
- We must obey God and his commission
3. Stay in The Way (The old Prophet)
· Lets touch on the old time religion (vs. 11-20)
We need to be careful of following God's instruction, if he has called you then do his work
The MOG had been instructed by God and what to do, (vs. 7-10)
He obeyed but being weary and approach by a fellow Christian he failed God
The old prophet lied, (vs. 18-19)
there will be some coming in Christ name giving advise but you must obey your commission
God thru his word has indicated what we must do, we have the Word of the Lord
There will be kings and old prophets that will try to keep us from God's Word
We need to understand one thing if God has called you then do it
No matter what the opposition might say, too confrontational, not right etc.
Do not consume the bread of these that desire you to leave the way
Satan tried thru the king and then the prophet
Either way his plan was to take the MOG off the path, he also wants you off the path
I have been told by many not to do things God placed in me, before, during and after
We have only one choice and that is to obey, balance this with the Word of God
Attacks will come from without and within, your convictions need to be followed
The MOG did not follow his but another that came as a friend, mistake
The bible does not state why the old prophet did what he did
He was sad that the MOG was killed but he was the tool used to bring him down
I don't believe other believers intentionally try to bring us down but beware
If God has dealt with you then follow your calling and stay in the way.
1 Kings 13:1-34
13:1 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.
3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
5 The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:
9 For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.
12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.
13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon,
14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.
15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:
17 For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back:
21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,
22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.
25 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.
27 And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him.
28 And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass.
29 And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him.
30 And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother!
31 And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:
32 For the saying 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, shall surely come to pass.
33 After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.
34 And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
1 Cor 1:19-25
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
1 Kings 13:1-10; 1 Kings 13:11-22; 1 Kings 13:23-34
1 Kings 13:1-10
The withering of Jeroboam's hand
Here is, I. A messenger sent to Jeroboam, to signify to him God's displeasure against his idolatry, v. 1. The army of Judah that aimed to ruin him was countermanded, and might not draw a sword against him (1 Kings 12:24); but a prophet of Judah is, instead thereof, sent to reclaim him from his evil way, and is sent in time, while he is but dedicating his altar, before his heart is hardened by the deceitfulness of his sin; for God delights not in the death of sinners, but would rather they would burn and live. How bold was the messenger that durst attack the king in his pride and interrupt the solemnity he was proud of! Those that go on God's errand must not fear the face of man; they know who will bear them out. How kind was he that sent him to warn Jeroboam of the wrath of God revealed from heaven against his ungodliness and unrighteousness!
II. The message delivered in God's name, not whispered, but cried with a loud voice, denoting both the prophet's courage, that he was neither afraid nor ashamed to own it, and his earnestness, that he desired to be heard and heeded by all that were present, who were not a few, on this great occasion. It was directed, not to Jeroboam nor to the people, but to the altar, the stones of which would sooner hear and yield than those who were mad upon their idols and deaf to divine calls. Yet, in threatening the altar, God threatened the founder and worshippers, to whom it was as dear as their own souls, and who might conclude, "If God's wrath fasten upon the lifeless guiltless altar, how shall we escape?" That which was foretold concerning the altar (v. 2) was that, in process of time, a prince of the house of David, Josiah by name, should pollute this altar by sacrificing the idolatrous priests themselves upon it, and burning the bones of dead men. Let Jeroboam know and be sure,
1. That the altar he now consecrated should be desecrated. Idolatrous worship will not continue, but the word of the Lord will endure for ever.
2. That the priests of the high places he now made should themselves be made sacrifices to the justice of God, and the first and only sacrifices upon this altar that would be pleasing to him. If the offering be such as is an abomination to God, it will follow, of course, that the offerers must themselves fall under his wrath, which will abide upon them, since it is not otherwise transmitted.
3. That this should be done by a branch of the house of David. That family which he and his kingdom had despised and treacherously deserted should recover so much power as to demolish that altar which he thought to establish; so that right and truth should at length prevail, both in civil and sacred matters, notwithstanding the present triumphs of those that were given to change the fear both of God and the king. It was about 356 years ere this prediction was fulfilled, yet it was spoken of as sure and nigh at hand, for a thousand years with God are but as one day. Nothing more contingent and arbitrary than the giving of names to persons, yet Josiah was here named above 300 years before he was born. Nothing future is hidden from God. There are names in the book of the divine prescience (Phil 4:3), names written in heaven.
III. A sign is given for the confirming of the truth of this prediction, that the altar should be shaken to pieces by an invisible power and the ashes of the sacrifice scattered (v. 3), which came to pass immediately, v. 5. This was,
1. A proof that the prophet was sent of God, who confirmed the word with this sign following, Mark 16:20.
2. A present indication of God's displeasure against these idolatrous sacrifices. How could the gift be acceptable when the altar that should sanctify it was an abomination?
3. It was a reproach to the people, whose hearts were harder than these stones and rent not under the word of the Lord.
4. It was a specimen of what should be done to it in the accomplishment of this prophecy by Josiah; it was now rent, in token of its being then ruined.
IV. Jeroboam's hand withered, which he stretched out to seize or smite the man of God, v. 4. Instead of trembling at the message, as he might well have done, he assaulted him that brought it, in defiance of the wrath of which he was warned and contempt of that grace which sent him the warning. Rebuke a sinner and he will hate thee, and do thee a mischief if he can; yet God's prophets must rather expose themselves than betray their trust: he that employs them will protect them, and restrain the wrath of man, as he did Jeroboam's here by withering his hand, so that he could neither hurt the prophet nor draw it in to help himself. When his hand was stretched out to burn incense to his calves it was not withered; but, when it is stretched out against a prophet, he shall have no use of it till he humble himself. Of all the wickedness of the wicked there is none more provoking to God than their malicious attempts against his prophets, of whom he has said, Touch them not, do them no harm. As this was a punishment of Jeroboam, and answering to the sin, so it was the deliverance of the prophet. God has many ways of disabling the enemies of his church from executing their mischievous purposes. Jeroboam's inability to pull in his hand made him a spectacle to all about him, that they might see and fear. If God, in justice, harden the hearts of sinners, so that the hand they have stretched out in sin they cannot pull in again by repentance, that is a spiritual judgment, represented by this, and much more dreadful.
V. The sudden healing of the hand that was suddenly dried up, upon his submission, v. 6. That word of God which should have touched his conscience humbled him not, but this which touched his bone and his flesh brings down his proud spirit. He looks for help now,
1. Not from his calves, but from God only, from his power and his favour. He wounded, and no hand but his can make whole.
2. Not by his own sacrifice or incense, but by the prayer and intercession of the prophet, whom he had just now threatened and aimed to destroy. The time may come when those that hate the preaching would be glad of the prayers of faithful ministers. "Pray to the Lord thy God," says Jeroboam; "thou hast an interest in him; improve it for me." But observe, He did not desire the prophet to pray that his sin might be pardoned, and his heart changed, only that his hand might be restored; thus Pharaoh would have Moses to pray that God would take away this death only (Ex 10:17), not this sin. The prophet, as became a man of God, renders good for evil, upbraids not Jeroboam with his impotent malice, nor triumphs in his submission, but immediately addresses himself to God for him. Those only are entitled to the blessing Christ pronounced on the persecuted that learn of him to pray for their persecutors, Matt 5:10,44. When the prophet thus honoured God, by showing himself of a forgiving spirit, God put this further honour upon him, that at his word he recalled the judgment and by another miracle healed the withered hand, that by the goodness of God Jeroboam might be led to repentance, and, if he were not broken by the judgment, yet might be melted by the mercy. With both he seemed affected for the present, but the impressions wore off.
VI. The prophet's refusal of Jeroboam's kind invitation, in which observe,
1. That God forbade his messenger to eat or drink in Beth-el (v. 9), to show his detestation of their execrable idolatry and apostasy from God, and to teach us not to have fellowship with the works of darkness, lest we have infection from them or give encouragement to them. He must not turn back the same way, but deliver his message, as it were, in transitu - as he passes along. He shall not seem to be sent on purpose (they were unworthy such a favour), but as if he only called by the way, his spirit being stirred, like Paul's at Athens, as he passed and saw their devotions. God would, by this command, try his prophet, as he did Ezekiel, whether he would not be rebellious, like that rebellious house, Ezek 2:8.
2. That Jeroboam was so affected with the cure of his hand that though we read not of his thanksgivings to God for the mercy, or of his sending an offering to the altar at Jerusalem in acknowledgment of it, yet he was willing to express his gratitude to the prophet and pay him for his prayers, v. 7. Favours to the body will make even graceless men seem grateful to good ministers.
3. That the prophet, though hungry and weary, and perhaps poor, in obedience to the divine command refused both the entertainment and the reward proffered him. He might have supposed his acceptance of it would give him an opportunity of discoursing further with the king, in order to his effectual reformation, now that he was convinced; yet he will not think himself wiser than God, but, like a faithful careful messenger, hastens home when he has done his errand. Those have little learned the lessons of self-denial that cannot forbear one forbidden meal.
1 Kings 13:11-22
The prophet deceived
The man of God had honestly and resolutely refused the king's invitation, though he promised him a reward; yet he was over-persuaded by an old prophet to come back with him, and dine in Beth-el, contrary to the command given him. Here we find how dearly his dinner cost him. Observe with wonder,
I. The old prophet's wickedness. I cannot but call him a false prophet and a bad man, it being much easier to believe that from one of such a bad character should be extorted a confirmation of what the man of God said (as we find, v. 32) than that a true prophet, and a good man, should tell such a deliberate lie as he did, and father it upon God. A good tree could never bring forth such corrupt fruit. Perhaps he was trained up among the sons of the prophets, in one of Samuel's colleges not far off, whence he retained the name of a prophet, but, growing worldly and profane, the spirit of prophecy had departed from him. If he had been a good prophet he would have reproved Jeroboam's idolatry, and not have suffered his sons to attend his altars, as, it should seem, they did. Now,
1. Whether he had any good design in fetching back the man of God is not certain. One may hope that he did it in compassion to him, concluding he wanted refreshment, and out of a desire to be better acquainted with him and more fully to understand his errand than he could from the report of his sons; yet his sons having told him all that passed, and particularly that the prophet was forbidden to eat or drink there, which he had openly told Jeroboam, I suppose it was done with a bad design, to draw him into a snare, and so to expose him; for false prophets have ever been the worst enemies to the true prophets, usually aiming to destroy them, but sometimes, as here, to debauch them and draw them from their duty. Thus they gave the Nazarites wine to drink (Amos 2:12), that they might glory in their fall. But,
2. It is certain that he took a very bad method to bring him back. When the man of God had told him, "I may not, and therefore I will not, return to eat bread with thee" (his resolutions concurring with the divine command, v. 16, 17), he wickedly pretended that he had an order from heaven to fetch him back. He imposed upon him by asserting his quondam character as a prophet: I am a prophet also as thou art; he pretended he had a vision of an angel that sent him on this errand. But it was all a lie; it was a banter upon prophecy, and profane in the highest degree. When this old prophet is spoken of (2 Kings 23:18) he is called the prophet that came out of Samaria, whereas there was no such place as Samaria till long after, 1 Kings 16:24. Therefore I take it he is so called there, though he was of Beth-el, because he was like those who were afterwards the prophets of Samaria, who caused God's people Israel to err, Jer 23:13.
II. The good prophet's weakness, in suffering himself to be thus imposed upon: He went back with him, v. 19. He that had resolution enough to refuse the invitation of the king, who promised him a reward, could not resist the insinuations of one that pretended to be a prophet. God's people are more in danger of being drawn from their duty by the plausible pretences of divinity and sanctity than by external inducements; we have therefore need to beware of false prophets, and not believe every spirit.
III. The proceedings of divine justice hereupon; and here we may well wonder that the wicked prophet, who told the lie and did the mischief, went unpunished, while the holy man of God, that was drawn by him into sin, was suddenly and severely punished for it. What shall we make of this! The judgments of God are unfathomable. The deceived and the deceiver are his, and he giveth not account of any of his matters. Certainly there must be a judgment to come, when these things will be called over again, and when those that sinned most and suffered least, in this world, will receive according to their works.
1. The message delivered to the man of God was strange. His crime is recited, v. 21, 22. It was, in one word, disobedience to an express command. Judgment is given upon it: Thy carcase shall not come to the sepulchre of thy fathers, that is, "Thou shalt never reach thy own house, but shalt be a carcase quickly, nor shall thy dead body be brought to the place of thy fathers' sepulchres, to be interred."
2. Yet it was more strange that the old prophet himself should be the messenger. Of this we can give no account but that God would have it so, as he spoke to Balaam by his ass and read Saul his doom by the devil in Samuel's likeness. We may think God designed hereby,
(1.) To startle the lying prophet, and make him sensible of his sin. The message could not but affect him the more when he himself had the delivering of it, and had so strong an impression made upon his spirit by it that he cried out, as one in an agony, v. 21. He had reason to think, if he must die for his disobedience in a small matter who sinned by surprise, of how much sorer punishment he should be thought worthy who had belied an angel of God and cheated a man of God by a deliberate forgery. If this were done to the green tree, what shall be done to the dry? Perhaps it had a good effect upon him. Those who preach God's wrath to others have hard hearts indeed if they fear it not themselves.
(2.) To put the greater mortification upon the prophet that was deceived, and to show what those must expect who hearken to the great deceiver. Those that yield to him as a tempter will be terrified by him as a tormentor; whom he now fawns upon he will afterwards fly upon, and whom he now draws into sin he will do what he can to drive to despair.
1 Kings 13:23-34
The deceived prophet slain
Here is, I. The death of the deceived disobedient prophet. The old prophet that had deluded him, as if he would make him some amends for the wrong he had done him or help to prevent the mischief threatened him, furnished him with an ass to ride home on; but by the way a lion set upon him, and killed him, v. 23, 24. He did but return back to refresh himself when he was hungry, and behold he must die for it; see 1 Sam 14:43. But we must consider,
1. That his offence was great, and it would by no means justify him that he was drawn into it by a lie; he could not be so certain of the countermand sent by another as he was of the command given to himself, nor had he any ground to think that the command would be recalled, when the reason of it remained in force, which was that he might testify his detestation of the wickedness of that place. He had great reason to suspect the honesty of this old prophet, who did not himself bear his testimony, nor did God think fit to make use of him as a witness against the idolatry of the city he lived in. However, he should have taken time to beg direction from God, and not have complied so soon. Did he think this old prophet's house safer to eat in than other houses at Beth-el, when God had forbidden him to eat in any? That was to refine upon the command, and make himself wiser than God. Did he think to excuse himself that he was hungry? Had he never read that man lives not by bread alone?
2. That his death was for the glory of God; for by this it appeared,
(1.) That nothing is more provoking to him than disobedience to an express command, though in a small matter, which makes his proceedings against our first parents, for eating the forbidden fruit, the easier to be accounted for.
(2.) That God is displeased at the sins of his own people, and no man shall be protected in disobedience by the sanctity of his profession, the dignity of his office, his nearness to God, or any good services he has done for him. Perhaps God by this intended, in a way of righteous judgment, to harden Jeroboam's heart, since he was not reformed by the withering of his hand; for he would be apt to make a bad use of it, and to say that the prophet was well enough served for meddling with his altar, he had better have staid at home; any, he would say that Providence had punished him for his insolence, and the lion had done that which his withered hand might not do. However, by this God intended to warn all those whom he employs strictly to observe their orders, at their peril.
II. The wonderful preservation of his dead body, which was a token of God's mercy remembered in the midst of wrath. The lion that gently strangled him, or tore him, did not devour his dead body, nor so much as tear the ass, v. 24, 25, 26. Nay, what was more, he did not set upon the travellers that passed by and saw it, nor upon the old prophet (who had reason enough to fear it) when he came to take up the corpse. His commission was to kill the prophet; hitherto he should go, but no further. Thus God showed that, though he was angry with him, his anger was turned away, and the punishment went no further than death.
III. The care which the old prophet took of his burial. When he heard of this unusual accident, he concluded it was the man of God, who was disobedient to his Master (and whose fault was that?), therefore the Lord has delivered him to the lion, v. 26. It would well have become him to ask why the lion was not sent against him and his house, rather than against the good man whom he had cheated. He took up the corpse, v. 29. If there by any truth in the vulgar opinion, surely the corpse bled afresh when he touched it, for he was in effect the murderer, and it was but a poor reparation for the injury to inter the dead body. Perhaps when he cheated him into his ruin he intended to laugh at him; yet now his conscience so far relents that he weeps over him, and, like Joab at Abner's funeral, is compelled to be a mourner for him whom he had been the death of. They said, Alas! my brother, v. 30. The case was indeed very lamentable that so good a man, a prophet so faithful, and so bold in God's cause, should, for one offence, die as a criminal, while an old lying prophet lives at ease and an idolatrous prince in pomp and power. Thy way, O God! is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters. We cannot judge of men by their sufferings, nor of sins by their present punishments; with some the flesh is destroyed that the spirit may be saved, while with others the flesh is pampered that the soul may ripen for hell.
IV. The charge which the old prophet gave his sons concerning his own burial, that they should be sure to bury him in the same grave where the man of God was buried (v. 3): "Lay my bones beside his bones, close by them, as near as may be, so that my dust may mingle with his." Though he was a lying prophet, yet he desired to die the death of a true prophet. "Gather not my soul with the sinners of Beth-el, but with the man of God." The reason he gives is because what he cried against the altar of Beth-el, that men's bones should be burnt upon it, shall surely come to pass, v. 32. Thus,
1. He ratifies the prediction, that out of the mouth of two witnesses (and one of them such a one as St. Paul quotes, Titus 1:12, one of themselves, even a prophet of their own) the word might be established, if possible to convince and reclaim Jeroboam.
2. He does honour to the deceased prophet, as one whose word would not fall to the ground, though he did. Ministers die, die prematurely it may be; but the word of the Lord endures for ever, and does not die with them.
3. He consults his own interest. It was foretold that men's bones should be burnt upon Jeroboam's altar: "Lay mine (says he) close to his, and then they will not be disturbed;" and it was, accordingly, their security, as we find, 2 Kings 23:18. Sleeping and waking, living and dying, it is safe being in good company. No mention is made here of the inscription on the prophet's tomb; but it is spoken of 2 Kings 23:17, where Josiah asks, What title is that? and is told, It is the sepulchre of the man of God that came from Judah, who proclaimed these things which thou hast done; so that the epitaph upon the prophet's grave preserved the remembrance of his prophecy, and was a standing testimony against the idolatries of Beth-el, which it would not have been so remarkably if he had died and been buried elsewhere. The cities of Israel are here called cities of Samaria, though that name was not yet known; for, however the old prophet spoke, the inspired historian wrote in the language of his own time.
V. The obstinacy of Jeroboam in his idolatry (v. 33): He returned not from his evil way; some hand was found that durst repair the altar God had rent, and then Jeroboam offered sacrifice on it again, and the more boldly because the prophet who disturbed him before was in his grave (Rev 11:10) and because the prophecy was for a great while to come. Various methods had been used to reclaim him, but neither threats nor signs, neither judgments nor mercies, wrought upon him, so strangely was he wedded to his calves. He did not reform, no, not his priesthood, but whoever would, he filled his hand, and made him priest, though ever so illiterate or immoral, and of what tribe soever; and this became sin, that is, a snare first, and then a ruin, to Jeroboam's house, to cut if off, v. 34. Note, The diminution, disquiet, and desolation of families, are the fruit of sin; he promised himself that the calves would secure the crown to his family, but it proved they lost it, and sunk his family. Those betray themselves that think by any sin to support themselves.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
1 Kings 13:1-3; 1 Kings 13:4-6; 1 Kings 13:7-10; 1 Kings 13:11-14; 1 Kings
13:15-17; 1 Kings 13:18-19; 1 Kings 13:20-23; 1 Kings 13:24-27; 1 Kings
13:28-32; 1 Kings 13:33-34
1 Kings 13:1-3
And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah. An unnamed prophet, bearing the simple designation, a man of God, came from Judah to Bethel, one of the two centers of Jeroboam's calf worship, to administer a stinging rebuke and to announce doom. 2. Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name. This is one of the most remarkable instances in the OT of prophecy demonstrating God's omniscience. This forecast is on a level with the Isaianic prophecy regarding Cyrus (Isa 45:1 ff.). Because this forecast is so remarkable, 'liberal' Biblical critics have sought to reduce it to an ad hoc status. However, to regard this as a historical insertion, coming to pass after the day of King Josiah, is utterly to fail to understand the true genius of prophecy. For the remarkable fulfillment of this prediction see 2 Kings 23:15-20. 3. And he gave a sign. The rending of the altar may be regarded as confirmation of the prophetic utterance. It is apparent that there is an immediate as well as a long range manifestation of the divine displeasure.
1 Kings 13:4-6
And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
When the king heard the saying ... he ... put forth his hand (ASV). Thoroughly angered, Jeroboam stretched out his hand to order the prophet's arrest. Before the wicked order could be carried out, however, the king's hand was withered (Heb., dried), that is to say, paralyzed to the extent that he could not draw it in again. The vengeful king now cried for mercy (v. 6). In answer to the prophet's prayer, Jeroboam's hand was restored.
1 Kings 13:7-10
And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
Come home with me. Jeroboam's invitation may have been designed to serve a twofold purpose: it may have been in the nature of an apology for attempting arrest; and it may have been a device for warding off or at least softening the judgment pronounced upon the royal household. 8. If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee. True to his divine instructions, the prophet declined on the ground that it had been expressly forbidden him to eat bread or to drink water in Bethel. Such social intercourse might well have created the impression in the minds of the people that the judgment pronounced by the prophet had either been averted or at least mitigated. 10. So he went another way. The prophet now sought his homeward way. So far he had acted in strict obedience to the divine command.
b) Seduction of the Man of God by the Old Prophet. 13:11-32.
1 Kings 13:11-14
Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.
Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el. What the king, with all his riches, fame, and glory, could not accomplish in the life of the man of God, a believer obviously not having "the mind of the Spirit," was now able to accomplish. The sons of the old prophet at Bethel told their father about the prophecy that had been made against Jeroboam. Acting upon their report, the old prophet went forth to seek the man of God, and he found him under the oak or terebinth tree.
1 Kings 13:15-17
Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
Come home with me, and eat bread. The Oriental is known for his hospitality to a much more marked degree than is his Occidental brother. Besides wishing to show hospility, perhaps the old prophet wanted to learn more exactly about this wonderful and unusual prophecy. 16. I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee. As the prophet had declined Jeroboam's invitation, so now he at first refused the invitation of his fellow prophet on the ground of God's prohibition (v. 17).
1 Kings 13:18-19
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me.... But he lied unto him. The prophet from Bethel pretended that he had received divine orders countermanding those previously given the younger prophet. We do not know why he lied. 19. So he went back with him. He disobeyed the divine command. A practical lesson to be learned is that the advice of other men, no matter if they are Christian friends, should not be substituted for the clear call of duty within our own hearts.
1 Kings 13:20-23
And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back:
And it came to pass, as they sat at the table. The prophet who had been willing to assume the role of the tempter, now, by God's urgency, assumed the more difficult role of the announcer of punishment. The prophet's penalty for disobedience was to be death. This prophecy came to pass almost immediately.
1 Kings 13:24-27
And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.
And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way. Lions still prowled the forest around Bethel and once in a while accosted an unwary traveler. However, in order that it might be known that this was indeed a supernatural judgment and not simply an unfortunate accident, the lion, after slaying the prophet, did not harm or tear his body, nor did he even kill the meek donkey upon which the prophet had been riding, but calmly stood at attention, as if by divine arrest. 26. It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto ... the Lord. Though the lying prophet suffered no corporeal punishment, his pangs of conscience must have been severe when he realized that he had brought about the death of a man by urging him to pursue a course of disobedience.
1 Kings 13:28-32
And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass.
And he went and found his body cast in the way. The supernatural character of the story is apparent throughout. We are accustomed to think of miracles being acts or tokens of great healing and benefit, but we must remember that there are miracles of discipline as well. 29-32. And the prophet took up the body of the man of God. The corpse of the disobedient prophet was not to be left uncared for but given honorable burial. The last tribute that could possibly be paid by one prophet of God to another was thus touchingly performed. With bitter lamentations the old prophet from Bethel laid his brother prophet to rest in his grave. Perhaps a twofold source of grief may be seen here: (1) He had contributed to the death of the first prophet, though perhaps quite unwittingly. (2) At that time the nation could ill afford to sacrifice any of its godly men. The old prophet, with bowed head, lamented not only the sorrowful fate of his brother prophet, but also the miserable state of the divided kingdom as a whole. He acknowledged that the words spoken by the deceased prophet would be fulfilled in due season.
c) Jeroboam's Persistence in Evil. 13:33,34.
1 Kings 13:33-34
After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.
After this this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way. These strange, portentous happenings, terrible as they were, did not deter the king from pursuing the wicked ways he had chosen. He repeated rather than repented of the three initial sins which at the beginning began to draw the northern kingdom down the pathway of spiritual declension. 34. And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off. The root spiritual cause of the declension and final fall of the house of Jeroboam is given here. Various political and sociological conditions, and even international relations, might be cited as reasons for the destruction of Jeroboam's line. Nevertheless, the destruction stemmed directly from the king's disobedience to the command of the holy God. Therefore, we judge those scholars to be wrong who excuse, if not defend, Jeroboam's calf worship on the ground that he was simply worshiping the true God of Israel in another fashion.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)