Summary: Jeroboam seeks God only when he wants something, only on his own terms, only to fix his problems, and only for himself. We are to seek God for WHO He is. We worship Him and obey Him because He is the Lord of our lives.
In 1 Kings 13, God interrupted the King’s pagan worship proceedings when he sent a man of God to declare His judgement.
• He gave King Jeroboam a chance to repent, but 13:33 says EVEN AFTER THIS, the King did not change his evil ways.
Sadly, the King made no effort in knowing God or understanding His will.
• God authenticates His Word with miraculous signs – the altar splitting apart and the King’s hand shrivelled up and subsequently healed.
• If he had taken the opportunity to ponder and reflect, he could have been awakened by what God has been saying and doing.
• But he was too blinded by his sin to see the obvious, even with the miraculous signs and the healing of his hand.
1. HE SEEKS GOD ONLY WHEN HE WANTS SOMETHING
Now we see Jeroboam seeking to know the truth about his son through the prophet.
• His son was sick, seriously sick, it seems. It worries him because he was the likely heir to the throne.
• He needed some answer, some assurance, so he thought of the prophet Ahijah, the “one who told me I would be king” (14:2)
• “He has the Word of God. We can find out from him the answer to my son’s illness.”
2. HE SEEKS GOD ONLY ON HIS OWN TERMS
“But I cannot be the one going. I’ve rejected what he said back in chapter 11. He would be unhappy with me and might reprimand me and not give me a good answer.”
• So Jeroboam sends his wife instead and tells her to disguise herself.
• Not recognising her to be Jeroboam’s wife is an advantage, the prophet might just give her a “good word” about their son.
• And he asked the wife to take some gifts, hoping to “buy” some favour?
This is the folly of man. On the one hand, he believes Ahijah is a true prophet who has the truth, and yet at the same time, thinking that he can deceive him.
• The irony is that Ahijah is already blind at this time (because of his age). It does not matter whether the wife disguises herself or not. He could not see.
• When the prophet heard her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretence?” (14:6)
He did not need to hear her voice. She did not speak. In fact, she did not speak in this whole encounter.
• The prophet sees because he hears from God. He could be blind but he “sees” because he has the revelation of God.
All our effort to try and hide who we are before God is FUTILE.
• We may pull the same stunt with God sometimes, thinking that we can hide from Him.
• We know in theory that we cannot but in reality we sometimes behave as if God does not know.
But look at verse 5. God reveals everything - the WHO, WHAT, WHY and HOW.
• God reveals who is coming, what she wants, why she is asking, how she will behave, and what his answer to her would be. Everything!
• We don’t have to hide from God. We don’t have to cover up. Even if man is blind and cannot see a thing, God can and He knows.
3. HE SEEK GOD ONLY TO FIX HIS PROBLEMS
Why is Jeroboam seeking the prophet now? The reason is given – his child is sick.
• The King seeks God when he is in trouble. Nothing wrong with that in itself.
• The Lord is gracious and compassionate. He is our help in times of troubles.
• But he seeks God ONLY in his troubles. We have only TWO accounts of Jeroboam seeking God – one, when his hand shrivelled up and cannot be pulled back (13:4) and the other is now, when his son is sick. Both are self-serving.
Jeroboam showed no regard for the Word of the Lord in all other occasions.
• He spurned the Word of God. He chose to reject the Word of God.
• God says, “You have provoked me to anger and thrust me behind your back.” (14:9b) He cast God behind his back, that’s how the Lord puts it.
Since meeting the prophet in chapter 11, Jeroboam has been behaving in this manner.
• He did not take God’s Word to heart. And the two times he turned to God were selfish reasons.
• He wants God only for the emergencies of life and not as the Lord who rules the course of his life. “I don’t want you, except during emergencies.”
4. HE SEEKS GOD ONLY FOR HIMSELF