Wednesday, May 11, 2022

2022.05.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Kings 13:11–32

Read 1 Kings 13:11–32

Questions from the Scripture text: Who dwelt where (1 Kings 13:11)? What two things do his sons come tell him? What does he ask them (1 Kings 13:12)? What had they seen? What does he tell them to do (1 Kings 13:13)? What do they do? What does he do? Where does he go (1 Kings 13:14)? Whom does he find where (verse 14)? What does he ask him? With what answer? What does the old prophet say (despite knowing what the man of God had said, 1 Kings 13:15)? What does the man of God answer (1 Kings 13:16)? Why (1 Kings 13:17)? What does the old prophet say about himself (1 Kings 13:18)? What does he say has happened to him (cf. Galatians 1:8)? What had the old prophet done (end of 1 Kings 13:18)? What did the man of God do (1 Kings 13:19)? What now came to the old prophet (1 Kings 13:20)? Of what did he accuse the man of God (1 Kings 13:21-22)? With what consequence? Now what did the old prophet do for the man of God (1 Kings 13:23)? What met the man of God on the road (1 Kings 13:24)? What did it do to him? What didn’t it kill? What did it do with the corpse? Who passed by and saw this (1 Kings 13:25)? What did they do where? Who heard it (1 Kings 13:26) What did he say? What does he tell his sons to do (1 Kings 13:27)? Where does he go (1 Kings 13:28)? What still hasn’t done what? What does the prophet do to the corpse (1 Kings 13:29)? Whose body is it still? Where does he bring it? To do what two things? Where does he lay the corpse (1 Kings 13:30)? How does he mourn him? After burying him, what does he ask his sons to do (1 Kings 13:31)? What does he confirm in 1 Kings 13:32?  

God’s Word is always true and powerful. The man of God from Judah found that out the hard way in our passage. Maybe the true prophet’s false prophecy of 1 Kings 13:18 sounded plausible because he had gone a different way (1 Kings 13:10), and he still tracked him down (the man of God doesn’t seem to have had access to the info in 1 Kings 13:12b). Many genuine believers, even today, are sucked into false teaching by apparent “signs” and claims of revelatory religious experience (cf. 1 Kings 13:18a). 

But there’s an easy way to determine what to do. Go by what God has already said (1 Kings 13:17), which in our case must be the completed Scriptures by Christ the great Prophet (cf. Hebrews 1:1–2), both through His former prophets (Hebrews 1:1, 1 Peter 1:10–11) and through the apostles to whom the Holy Spirit gave what remained for Him to say at the end of His earthly life (Hebrews 1:2, John 16:12–13). When God has spoken clearly, even if an angel were to seem to say differently (1 Kings 13:18, cf. Galatians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 11:14), we must not stray from His Word. 1 Kings 13:21 makes it clear: the Lord considers such straying disobedience to the Word of Yahweh and failing to keep the commandment of Yahweh.

God’s Word to the man of God held true. He didn’t see that the old prophet was lying, and he ended up killed by a lion. Strange sort of lion. It’s not hungry, or it would eat the man. It’s not angry, or it would kill the donkey. The powerful lion is subject to the infinite power of God’s Word.

God’s Word to the prophet held true as well. The man of God’s corpse did not come back to the tomb of his fathers (1 Kings 13:22).

And God’s Word against the altar in Bethel would prove true too (1 Kings 13:32).

God’s Word proves true. And everyone is under its power, even kings and prophets.

The man of God was a good man, by all accounts. He stood up to Jeroboam. He was admired by the old prophet (cf. 1 Kings 13:30). He was later respected by Josiah himself (cf. 2 Kings 23:17–18). He knew the truth and power of the Word of God. He was adamant at first to obey it, and had begun to do so.

But even such a man was prone to stumbling. And even such a man’s momentary stumbling could have dreadful consequences. The Lord help His people to take His Word seriously at all times and cling to it, no matter who contradicts it, or how small a thing it seems to be about!

What commands of God are you in danger of treating as small? What contradicting words against it threaten to make you think it’s ok to do so? How does taking this passage seriously encourage you to respond to that threat?

Sample prayer:  Lord, sometimes we treat Your Word as if disobedience is dangerous to evil kings like Jeroboam but not to respectable believers like the man of God—or like ourselves. Forgive us for being willing to give an ear to those who would make us feel justified in disobeying You. Make us to cling to Your Word and not give in to claims of special knowledge or pressure from others. Count Christ’s righteousness for us, Who perfectly followed Your Word in all things. And make us to be like Him, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH173 “Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast”

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