Summary: Lies, and deception often come from unusual sources. The results of deception often lead us to the lion that is ready to destoy us !
Watch Out For Liars & Lions !
Introduction: Jeroboam was the first King of the divided kingdom of Israel. He was a wicked king who erected two golden figures as worship. One at Dan and the other at Bethel. He also instituted a non-Levitical priesthood. It is at the dedicating of the altar at Bethel that the events in our scripture take place. Tonight I want us to look at the events focusing mainly upon the young prophet who came from Judah to confront Jeroboam.
I. The Lord Directed Him.
Little is known of this young prophet. His name is not even given. Many people are seem to work hard all their life seeking to make a name for themselves, and have it to appear upon some marquee, yet the only thing that really matters is that the Lord know our name, and that we are faithfully in what he gives us to do.
a. He directed him for a purpose.
Like this young unnamed prophet out of Judah all of us have a purpose. He has called all those that are saved, and has gifted us for a purpose.
b. He directed him to a place
He came out of Judah. He was directed by the Lord to Bethel. He being from Judah would cause his very presence in Bethel to be a dangerous thing. This young prophet shows remarkable courage by going to the place designated by the Lord. Some people sing the old song I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go" but they change the words to something like the following:
I’LL GO WHERE YOU WANT ME TO GO
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, Real service is what I desire,
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord, But don’t ask me to sing in the choir.
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord, I like to see things come to pass,
But don’t ask me to teach anywhere, dear Lord, I’d much rather stay in my class.
I’ll give what you want me to give, dear Lord, I yearn for the kingdom to thrive,
I’ll give you some pennies or nickels, dear Lord, But please don’t ask me to tithe.
I’ll read what you want me to read, dear Lord, as long as the Bible isn’t required,
I’d much prefer some novel over it, even though I know it’s inspired.
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, I’ll serve you with all of my might. But dont’ ask me to go out and witness, for I’m much too busy tonight !
What kind of limits are we putting on the Lord as far as where we’ll go or where we’ll serve ! If we’re really not willing to go anwhere, I’m not sure if he’ll use us anywhere !
c. He directed him to prophesy.
God didn’t send this young man down to Bethel to "win friends and influence people" The task before him was to be a difficult one, and his message would not be a popular one ! The message of the word of God is becoming more and more unpopular in our society. We should not go out of our way to make people angry or to create hostility, but often times the message will not gain us favor with the people ! This young prophet was sent by God to confront King Jeroboam with his sin. He is sent to deliver a timely message to a King who is leading the people of Israel to sin against the Lord.
d. He directed him to proceed.
The young prophet was further advised by the Lord that he was not to tarry in Bethel. He was not to eat any bread nor drink any water, but he was to proceed from that place as soon as the message was delivered. Why was he not to tarry ? The Lord knew the temptations that this young man would be confronted with, and wants him out of town as quickly as possible lest he be corrupted. We have a message that the world desperately needs to hear, and that we are commanded to share. Yet, we must be careful that we not be corrupted by the world in our sharing up it !
II. The Leader Disliked Him. V. 4
The leader King Jeroboam disliked him because of the message he delivered ! It flew in his face, and confronted him with the error of his ways. The King didn’t like the truth !
a. He Tried To Detain Him.
1. The King’s Attempt.
When the King heard the words that were spoken concerning the altar that he had erected, he stretched out his hand against the prophet, and ordered him to be seized !