Summary: The Word of God is sure, it is certani, it is true and it will come true.
Two Sundays ago we saw how King Jeroboam ignored the Word of God for his life and led Israel into apostasy (idolatry).
• He listened instead to his own voice and the voices of godless men, and created two golden calves as gods.
• He built shrines at high places, created his own festival and started a new religion for Israel.
This was a very sad outcome and totally uncalled for, because God had told him about his possible future with Him.
• God gave him the ten tribes and made him king. God assured him of His presence and an enduring kingdom if he keeps His commands. God’s plan for him was good.
• It really didn’t get to him. He has no faith in what God says. Instead Jeroboam believed his own voice and trust the words of men.
Is God’s Word not good? Is God’s Word so hard to believe?
• This theme runs through into chapter 13. The scene continues. 1 Kings 13:1-6.
Jeroboam was standing by the altar making an offering to his bull. He was having this worship service when a man of God from Judah stepped in.
• He launched into a tirade (13:2): “O altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’”
• It is a prophecy of the judgement of God, against all that Jeroboam is doing.
But who is this man? And who is Josiah? How would Jeroboam understand what is happening?
• It looks more like a crazy man jumping out from nowhere and saying crazy things about the altar.
• The man of God continued. “This is the sign the Lord has declared: ‘The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.’” (13:3)
God authenticates His Word. God gave an IMMEDIATE sign to show Jeroboam that what he has just heard is the word OF God and FROM God.
• Almost instantly 13:5 “the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD.”
• God authenticates His servant and His Word. “If you see this happening at My Word, then know that what I said is true and will come true. And this man is My prophet and he speaks My Word.”
As this was taking place, Jeroboam was raising his hand to order his men to arrest this man of God.
• At that very moment, his hand shrivelled up (paralysed) and he couldn’t pull it back.
Two supernatural acts of God in ONE instant - the altar was torn down and the King’s hand paralysed.
• With his hand frozen, Jeroboam had no choice but to change tack. He asked the man of God to help him.
• 13:6 “Intercede with the Lord YOUR GOD and pray for me that my hand may be restored.”
• The man of God prayed and the King’s hand was restored. Another miracle!
Three miracles in a row. God is present. He authenticates His servant and His Word!
• God made His presence felt. Why? Just to show off some feats. I don’t think so.
• He intruded into Jeroboam’s life to stop him in his tracks and wake him up from his slumber.
• God came to show him MERCY and extend GRACE. Turn around while you still can!
Why do I say that? Because the author ends with this comment;
• 13:33 “33Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways…” That’s what the Lord intended.
• “… but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.
• Did the King see the hand of God in all of this? No.
13:34 34This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.”
• God did not cause the downfall. God’s plan was to give him an enduring Kingdom!
• His sin led to his downfall. Not that God did not show mercy and give Jeroboam a chance, but that he has rejected God and “turned his back on Him”. (cf. 14:9)
God’s Word is sure. God’s Word is certain. God’s Word is true and will come true.
• I believe this to be the thrust of the chapter and what the author wants us to see.
• Because following this encounter with the King, he tells us more about what happened to this man of God.
Look at the many interesting twists and turns (we read that a couple of weeks ago):