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Summary of the chapter- We must obey God’s word
This account of God’s dealing with Jeroboam might seem to highlight the justice of God and it does, but what really shines through the whole account is the mercy of God.
Mercy calls for repentance.
God is abounding in mercy.
He calls those who disobey his word to repent.
The goodness of God leads us to repentance.
In the Bible we have things written for our encouragement.
We also have things written for our warning.
Our passage this morning is one of those warning passages.
It is true history recorded for us so we can learn from it.
The reason we have it recorded is because God is a loving God.
A loving God calls people to turn from their disobedience.
This passage is here so we might learn from the mistakes of others and do just that.
The lesson to be learnt here is; We must obey God’s word.
Give context- Jeroboam King of Israel was worried the people would return to Rehoboam king of Judah.
So he set up a false system of worship at Bethel.
Jeroboam refused to obey the word of the LORD.
He is called to repentance.
Transition- We must obey God’s word- list all three.
Firstly, We must obey God’s word because God calls those who defy his word to repent.
I. God calls those who defy his word to repent v.1-10
Jeroboam is commanded to repent.
a) God sent the prophet v.1 -
He went from Judah (faithful worship) to Bethel (false worship) by the word of the LORD.
b) He warned by the message v.2
He pronounced judgement against the altar- a sign that God condemns the false worship.
A prophecy which would be fulfilled roughly 300 years later- 2 Kings 23:15-16
c) He warned by the sign of the altar v.3, 5
d) He warned by the miracle v.4-6
God withered his arm immediately- His outstretched arm was a symbol of his power- God shrivelling it so he could not retract it was showing his power was governed by the God he defied.
God graciously healed the man.
Just as God warned by his word then.
He does so today.
Acts 17:30 “... but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness”
He has sent his Son.
He sends preachers who proclaim him.
Often he warns through his providence.
If you are defying God’s word like Jeroboam then God calls you to repent and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
Transition- We must obey God’s word, because God judges those who reject his word.
God judges those who reject his word v.11-32
God judged the prophet when he returned to Bethel.
This was an object lesson to the king and the people.
See v.33
a) The prophet had a command v.7-10, 16-17
Don’t return to Bethel- Bethel was symbolic of false worship
He was not to return the way he came.
Just as the king was not to return to his false worship against the word of the LORD.
He was not to eat or drink there which was a sign of fellowship.
He was not to eat and drink there as a sign of God’s judgement.
b) The prophet disobeyed the Lord's command v. 18-19, 26
He returned and ate and drank.
He was sitting under a tree resting instead of hurrying back.
It is only 6 miles from Bethel to Judah border.
(A brief lesson here- don’t linger where there is temptation to sin.)
The old prophet lied, but the Man of God should have trusted the word of God he had received directly.
(A warning not to trust false prophets but stand upon the certain word of God.)
c) The prophet was judged v.21-25
As they were eating God told the Man of God he was going to die.
As he travelled home he was killed by a lion v.24 (Notice the lion did not eat the man nor kill the donkey, and the donkey did not run away.
This was a clear miracle showing clearly this was God’s judgement on the man and not some accident.)
Temporal judgement not eternal judgement
Side note- This might seem harsh of the LORD but when we think about the task of the prophet it makes sense.
If God had not judged his disobedience people of the Northern Kingdom may have felt they would not be judged for theirs.
he was an object lesson- see v.33
Here is a challenge for believers, it is not enough to have been faithful in the past, we must remain faithful.
Here is a warning to those who reject the word of God and do not repent.
Transition- We must obey God’s word, but the sad truth is some people just will not listen.
Some people just will not listen v.33-34
Jeroboam refuses to turn from his sin and does the same as before.
a) Jeroboam did not repent v.33
He saw the miracles, he heard of the prophet being judged.
Still he did not repent.
b) he went back to idolatry v.33
c) God judged his house v.34
1 Kings 14:10, 15: 29-30 (Read)
The irony of this whole event is Jeroboam defied the word of the LORD because he thought by doing so he would secure his crown and his Kingdom for his offspring, but in fact it was by his sin that his family was destroyed.
Let us learn from Jeroboam.
What more could God have done to convince him of his need to repent?
He was stubborn even in the face of clear gracious warnings.
Is this true of you?
Preach the gospel.
Encourage believers to faithfulness.
We must obey God’s word
God calls those who defy his word to repent- God sent a man of God to Jeroboam.
God judges those who reject his word- God judged the man of God for his disobedience
The sad fact is some people just will not listen.
Have you defied the word of God? Run to Jesus for refuge.
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