Daily Devotional

August 10, 2019

Daybreak: 1 Kings 13:1-34

“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.” (1 Kings 13:26)

Do you remember trying to get your own way as a child by playing one parent against the other? When Dad said no, you may have tried to circumvent his answer by talking to Mom instead, hoping to get the yes answer you really wanted. If your parents were communicating, they discovered your ploy, and you discovered that no really meant no.

As children of God, we learn in 1 Kings 13 that when God says no, He really means no. God instructed the prophet of Judah not to eat or drink until he returned to his own land. The prophet of Judah clearly understood this command, for he did not accept wicked King Jeroboam’s offer of refreshment. However, when the old prophet lied and tempted the man of God to eat and drink, he gave in: the prophet of Judah wanted God’s no to be yes because he was hungry and thirsty.

We can be tempted to disobey God when we want something He says we should not have, or we want to do something He says we should not do. If we let our wants rule us, then, like children, we will try to find someone who will tell us that what we want is okay, even if it is clearly against God’s Word. That is a dangerous spiritual situation.

We can learn from the prophet of Judah. Obeying God always brings benefits, although those benefits may not be obvious at the outset of a temptation. In every situation, God has our best interests at heart. If we submit our desires to Him and ask Him to help us be willing to obey, we will win every time.

Background

King Jeroboam instituted the idolatrous golden calf worship because he did not want the people to go to Jerusalem to worship, for fear that they would give their allegiance to Rehoboam, King of Judah (1 Kings 12:26-27). The “sin of Jeroboam” (golden calf worship) was promoted by every future king of Israel. 

The Law instructed that only those from the tribe of Levi were to be priests (Numbers 3:10-12). The penalty for disobedience was death, yet Jeroboam not only chose whoever he wanted to be priests (verses 33-34), he performed priestly duties himself (verse 1). 

The prophecy concerning the desecration of the golden calf altar in 1 Kings 13:2 is amazing because it refers to Josiah by name. This prophecy came to pass approximately three hundred years later, when King Josiah of Judah destroyed the golden calf idols (2 Kings 23:15-18).

Three miracles validated the authenticity of the prophet of Judah’s message — the altar split, Jeroboam lost the ability to move his hand, and God restored his hand. Even after that, Jeroboam still made no move toward changing his ways. 

Lions were common enough in Israel during Old Testament times to cause concern for the people and animals. This attack evidenced God’s control — the ass stayed by the prophet’s body and so did the lion, and the lion did not hurt the ass or devour the body.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel
      B.   The reign of Jeroboam of Israel
            2.   The warning to Jeroboam (13:1-32)
                  a.   The message of the prophet of Judah (13:1-10)
                  b.   The misconduct of the prophet of Judah (13:11-20)
                  c.   The death of the prophet of Judah (13:21-25)
                  d.   The burial of the prophet of Judah (13:26-32)
            3.   The impenitence of Jeroboam (13:33-34)

A Closer Look

  1. When King Jeroboam offered a reward to the prophet of Judah, what was the prophet of Judah’s response?
     
  2. The Bible never explains the motive of the old prophet who deceived the prophet of Judah. Why do you suppose the old prophet lied to the prophet of Judah and tempted him to disobey God?
     
  3. Perhaps you know someone who would tempt you to disobey God’s Word. What could help you resist that temptation?

Conclusion

Let us not fit God’s Word to our wants. Let us allow God’s Word to fit us for His kingdom!

Reference Materials