June 28, 2016
1 Kings 13
The old prophet asked them, Which way did he go? They showed their father which road the man of God had taken. 1 Kings 13:12
LET IT GLOW
Which road will we take? Will we take the road of wholehearted obedience or half-hearted obedience? We may start out on the road of obedience and not finish our journey on it. If we disobey part of God's instructions, then it is not wholehearted obedience we are living. Today we read of a man of God who had chosen his road.
We have become familiar with the two kings of Israel and Judah-Rehoboam and Jeroboam. When King Jeroboam established pagan idol worship in the northern tribes, those who sincerely wanted to worship the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their ancestors.(2 Chronicles 11:16)
When Jeroboam went to personally offer his sacrifices on an altar in Bethel to the golden calves he made, something spectacular:
- The Lord had sent a man of God ahead of time from Jerusalem to Bethel with a message for him from God.
- This man spoke to that particular altar, saying that a child named Josiah would be born into the dynasty of David.
- On this altar Josiah would sacrifice the priests from the pagan shrines who come to burn incense and human bones would be burned upon it.
- That man of God spoke of a sign from God to prove his message was true-this altar will split apart, and its ashes will be poured out on the ground. (verse 3)
- When Jeroboam heard this message, he pointed at the man and shouted, "Seize that man!"
- Instantly the king's became paralyzed in that position and he couldn't pull it back.
- At the same time, a wide crack appeared in the altar, and ashes poured out, just as the man had predicted in is message from the LORD.
This prophecy came true as recorded in 2 Kings 23. He destroyed the shrines and altars to the false gods which Jeroboam had established in Israel, some 300 years earlier.
Are we teaching our children that God is the only deity to be worshiped, warning them against worshiping false gods?
LET IT GROW
This story continues with that same man of God who gave the prediction left Bethel without eating or drinking anything as God had instructed him. However, there was an old prophet who had compromised his ministry, living among the Israeli idolaters and false system of worship without speaking out against it as disobedience to God's Commandments.
Look what happened next:
- This old prophet's sons came home and told their father what had occurred. He asked, Which way did he go? His sons showed their father which road the man of God had taken.
- The old prophet caught up with the man of God and lied to him, saying the Lord had gave him the message to bring him home with him and give food and drink to the man of God.
- While they were eating, the Lord told the old prophet to tell the man of God: You have defied the word of the LORD and have disobeyed the command the LORD your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where He told you not to eat and drink. Because of this your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors. (verses 21-22)
- So the man of God finished eating and drinking, rode on the old prophet's donkey out of town.
- As he was traveling, a lion came out and killed him. His body lay on the rode, with the donkey and lion standing beside it, for passerbys to see.
- When the report of this incident reached the old prophet, he took the body of the man of God back to the town to mourn over and bury him there. So the message came to pass.
- The old prophet told his sons to buy him next to the man of God whenever he died.
He kept on appointing common people for priests at his pagan shrines.
This became a great sin and resulted in the utter destruction of Jeroboam's dynasty from the face of the earth. (verse 34)
This man of God half-heartedly obeyed God's instructions and we see the result of it. We should beware lest we stumble into the same sins we are proclaiming against.
The great sin of one affected his whole family for generations to come and for the Israelites, too.
LET IT GO
Refuse to be tempted away from serving God with worldly things and ways.
Stay on the road of wholehearted obedience.
Beware of temptations to which could lead me down the road of half-hearted obedience.
Faithfully finish my race with Jesus.