Monday, April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

God sent a prophet from Judah to Jeroboam in Bethel, Israel, to warn him about his altar of incense. The prophet spoke directly to the altar and predicted the rise of Josiah, who would destroy all the altars in Israel. Josiah wouldn’t come into power for more than 356 years. God gave an immediate sign that what the prophet was saying was true; the altar fell apart and spilled all the ashes. Jeroboam reached out to assault the prophet, but his hand dried up. He then asked the prophet to pray for him, and God restored his hand. Both of these things proved that what he was saying was true and that they came from God. Jeroboam invited him to have dinner at his house, but the prophet refused because God had told him not to eat, drink, or return by the way he came. Then, another prophet in town heard what had happened and went to invite him to his home; however, he lied to him, telling the prophet that God told him it was okay for him to eat and drink with him. When the prophet left to go home, a lion killed him but didn’t harm the donkey. God had told him that would happen because he disobeyed him. The other prophet buried him and told his sons to bury him with this prophet when he died. 

This portion of scripture is full of lessons:

  1. Never fear doing the work of the Lord because if God sends you, he will protect you. Jeroboam couldn’t harm the prophet because his hand dried up.
  2. Many people will ask for prayer but won’t seek forgiveness for their sins, like Jeroboam, who only wanted healing.
  3. Even a prophet of God will not go unpunished for his disobedience.
  4. The old prophet who lied to the other prophet likely feared the recompense of God for what he did to the sincere prophet. I’m sure he was riddled with guilt. 

The overall lesson is to stand firm in obedience to God and never let anyone sway you in a different direction.

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. 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. 1 Kings 13:23-24

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