Opening Question : What is something strange that you have seen? Any strange sight?
We’re going to look at a strange story tonight. Many twists and turns. Puzzling in some parts. Lots of questions may arise. But there is a MESSAGE for all of us.
Background : The nation of Israel has split in to two. Judah in the South and Israel in the North.
* King Rehoboam ruled Judah (the South), capital was Jerusalem…the temple was here.
* King Jeroboam ruled Israel, put golden calves in two cities – Dan and Bethel so people would not go to Jerusalem to worship.
1. 1 Kings 13:1-10
1 By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering.
2 He cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD: "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.'"
3 That same day the man of God gave a sign: "This is the sign the LORD has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out."
4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, "Seize him!" But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back.
5 Also, 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.
6 Then the king said to the man of God, "Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored." So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king's hand was restored and became as it was before.
7 The king said to the man of God, "Come home with me and have something to eat, and I will give you a gift."
8 But the man of God answered the king, "Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here.
9 For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: 'You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.'"
10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
* What kind of king was Jeroboam? (1 Ki 14:7-11) INTENSE !
* What is the name of the man of God ? (No name)
* What is Jeroboam doing? (Ready to present an offering….all his nobles, priests around…..)
* How does he get interrupted? (Man of God appears, and cries out….prophesies against the altar)
* Who appointed the priests? (1 Ki 12:28-31)
* How does King Jeroboam react to the man of God?
* What happens immediately? (2 things – his hand shrivels up, gets deformed, the altar splits)
* What does the King ask the man of God to do? (also what do you think the man of God did to intercede?)
* What invitation does the King give?
* What reply does he get (v8-9) (If you were invited by the King to eat with him, how would you reply?)
Let’s see some twists and turns….
* First with King Jeroboam – what happens to him physically? (gets leprous…gets healed)
* Second – how does he treat the man of God? (seize him…..to invite him)
2. 1 Kings:13-11-32
11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king.
12 Their father asked them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken.
13 So he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it
14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" "I am," he replied.
15 So the prophet said to him, "Come home with me and eat."
16 The man of God said, "I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.
17 I have been told by the word of the LORD: 'You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.'"
18 The old prophet answered, "I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: 'Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.'" (But he was lying to him.)
19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.
20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back.
21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, "This is what the LORD says: 'You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you.
22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.'"
23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.
24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.
25 Some people who passed by saw the body thrown down there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, "It is the man of God who defied the word of the LORD. The LORD has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the LORD had warned him."
27 The prophet said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me," and they did so.
28 Then he went out and found the body thrown down on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey.
29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him.
30 Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, "Oh, my brother!"
31 After burying him, he said to his sons, "When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
32 For the message he declared by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true."
* A new character is introduced here v11
* What do you think his sons told him? How did they come to know?
* What specific thing did the sons tell the old prophet?
* Why do you think the old prophet wanted to meet the man of God from Judah? (find out about what’s happening in Jerusalem, latest updates, etc )
* Why does he ask him to come home with him and eat v15? (it’s natural…hospitality…both prophets)
* What is the man of God’s response?
* How does the old prophet deceive the man of God?
* What does the man of God do? V 19 Why? (what did he tell the King and the prophet.…why did he change)
* While eating, what does the old prophet cry out? (v21-22)
* What happens to the man of God? V24
* V25 If you were one of the people passing by……what would you see / do?
* Did the prophet know the man of God was going to die? (no)
* What does he do when he hears the news? (v 27-30)
* What instructions does he give his sons? V31
Let’s see some twists and turns….
* What do you think of the old prophet? (He lies..then he speaks the truth)
* About the lion? Does not kill the donkey. Kills the man; does not eat.
* How do you know the prophet liked the man of God (v 29, 30, 31)
* Why does he want his bones to be buried alongside the man of God? 2 Ki 23:16-20 (300 years later)
* What do you think of the Man of God? (Man on a mission; not scared of King; Bold; Had conviction; )
* Common theme in this chapter -1 Ki 13 v1, v2, v9, v 17, v18, v20, v21, v26, v32 (the word of the Lord)
* When he got invited by the old prophet, what should he have done? (consulted God; prayed)
* HE got deceived!
* Today how can we be deceived about our relationship with God? (basing it on feelings, rather than on the word of the Lord)
* How can you know if you are living according to God’s word? (take the time to study the Bible and check)
* Why don’t people take time to do this (busy, other things more important; pride; ….)
* If a man of God came to you and said – This is what the Lord says…….Repent; turn to God and live…” how will you react? (Who are you? What do you know?......)
* Why are people not serious about God today?
* What about you….what prevents you from committing yourself to living a godly life….
* Isa 40:6-8…..God’s word lasts forever
* Isa 55:8-11….It has an impact
Challenge: Let the word impact your life……Study the Bible; make it a priority; Your relationship with God is one that will transform you…and it lasts forever…