Summary: This sermon is a reminder that God means what He says.
God Means What He Says
Ridgeway Assembly of God Church
Pastor Greg Tabor
Read 1 Kings 13
To understand the setting for this morning’s message we need first of all to have a little background information. The story involves Israel’s 1st king after it seceded, King Jeroboam. It is important to understand who he is and what he did in order to grasp the reason for the occasion mentioned in 1 Kings 13.
Who was Jeroboam?
He originally worked for King Solomon
Read: 1 Kings 11:28 NIV
1 Kings 11:29-39 records the account and words of Ahijah the prophet who spoke to Jeroboam about God’s plan to tear all but one of the tribes of Israel out of Solomon’s hand by taking them from his son’s hands (Rehoboam). This was because of Solomon’s idolatry. God promised to build an enduring dynasty for Jeroboam if he followed God’s commands.
He had to leave the country
Read: 1 Kings 11:40 NIV
He eventually became leader of ten tribes
Read: 1 Kings 12:2-3 NIV
Jeroboam and all Israel pledged their allegiance to Rehoboam if only he would lighten the heavy labor load Solomon had placed on the people. Of course we know that Rehoboam, listening to the advice of his peers, tried to look “in charge” and refused the request of the people. All Israel, except for one tribe, seceded from the Kingdom to form their own kingdom.
Read: 1 Kings 12:20 NIV
He led the Israelites into sin.
1 Kings 12:26-33 tells us that Jeroboam, being scared that the people would go to the temple in Jerusalem and eventually become loyal again to Rehoboam, decided that he would set up two golden calves to be worshipped. One of these would be in the northernmost part of Israel and one in the southernmost. He also substituted his own festival to replace a festival Judah would observe, and he made up his own priesthood from just about anyone willing to serve, from “all sorts of people.”
1 Chronicles 11:13-14 tells us that all the Levites abandoned their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem because they had been rejected by Jeroboam and his sons.
It was in this environment of godlessness that our story begins. This morning we will apply the story of 1 Kings 13 to you and I today. You see, there are three main characters in this story and God spoke to all three of them things that I believe can be applied to us today. We have the unnamed Man of God. The wicked King Jeroboam. And we have the old prophet.
The Man of God
We know nothing about this man except that the Bible says “a man of God came from Judah.” He is an unnamed prophet.
Read: 1 Kings 13:2 NIV
He prophesied judgment on that wicked place. His prophecy came true years and years later. 2 Kings 23:15-18 gives the account of the destruction of the idols at Bethel.
Read: 1 Kings 13:18-19 NIV
A has-been-prophet from a wicked city fooled the man of God into thinking God had changed his mind all of a sudden. Friends, God doesn’t change His mind. He may change His response in accordance with our response, but He does not change His mind. The man of God had believed so firmly God did not want him to eat or drink or stay there or return by the same way he came that he told the king all of this. Now he believed a prophet he didn’t even know, over God’s Word that had come to him, and was going back on everything he knew to be true.
God judged that man of God for this. He pronounced his judgment through the prophet. We’ll talk about the reason I believe this to be so in a moment. What did the prophet say?
Read: 1 Kings 13:21-22 NIV
I’m sure it was a shock to the man of God to be getting double talk from this old prophet. Of course, I’m sure the old prophet was shaken up when the word came to him. He was probably not too far off from the spiritual condition of Eli, Samuel’s caretaker. A word from the Lord was rare for both of these men.
After the man of God left he was killed.
Read: 1 Kings 13:24 NIV
Why was God’s judgment so harsh to this man of God?
I am sure the magnitude of the task to which he was called and the impact the message was to have on a wicked kingdom played a part in the type of punishment he received for disobedience. You remember that in James 3:1 NIV it says, “you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Why? Because of the great impact your words and walk will have on others.