That day the man of God gave a sign, saying, "The LORD has spoken this sign: 'Surely the altar will be split apart, and the ashes upon it will be poured out.'"
I. THAT GOD SEES THE END FROM THE BEGINNING.
1. This is evinced in His works of creation.
(1) There is foresight in the constitution and adjustments of the framework, and in the motions, of the orbs.
(2) Also in the anticipatory instincts of animals - storing of food, provisions for young. Moths deposit their eggs upon leaves, not used by themselves as food, but proper to sustain the larvae.
(3) And in the anticipatory faculties of man. Intelligent foresight in business, in politics, in science, in religion.
2. It is evinced in prophecy.
(1) Great outlines of the world's history pre-written there (see Genesis 9:25-27; Daniel 7.).
(2) Particular example here. (Compare this with 2 Kings 23:15-20.) The facts here were attested - By the Jews, on whose behalf they were ordered - By the Ephrathites, who would have impugned their authority if they could.
3. This example is too circumstantial to have been accidental.
(1) The child was to be of the house of David. Who but God could foresee that the house of David should occupy the throne of Judah at a distance of 856 years?
(2) Who but God could foresee that Bethel would then have passed from the kings of Israel under the dominion of Judah? (See 2 Chronicles 13:19.)
(3) Who but God could foresee that at a distance of 840 years a child should be born to the house of David, bearing the name of Josiah, who should in due time do these things?
(4) Who else could anticipate, even when Josiah received his name, that the grandson of the wicked Manasseh, and son of the no less wicked Amen, should come to the throne, and with pious zeal bring these things to pass? Note: Such prescience as God displayed in this prophecy, and such providence as He evinced in its accomplishment, encourage faith. They assure us that our very names are in His book (Philippians 4:8). They encourage prayer.
II. THAT HE WILL CONFRONT THE SINNER IN JUDGMENT.
1. The message to Jeroboam was to this very effect.
(1) He bore His testimony against the altar. It had been consecrated, after a fashion, by the king, but God would desecrate it. The bodies of its priests were to be sacrificed upon it, and the bones of men were to be burnt upon it (1 Kings 13:2). God will accept no will worship - no worship ordered after the policy of statesmen.
(2) In the demolition of the altar, not only is the religion connected with it doomed to be overthrown, but the judgment involves its votaries - the king, his priests, his people.
(3) The testimony was strong. The man of God cried aloud. He did not quail in the presence of the king amidst his friends. God's messengers should never cringe nor quail God's word can never fail.
2. These things were an allegory.
(1) Many of the wonderful narratives of Holy Scripture may be thus understood. We have the famous example, Galatians 4:21-31.
(2) Here Jeroboam, like all other leaders in apostasy, was a forerunner of the Antichrist. As the religion of the "man of sin" is a caricature of the religion of Christ, so was that of Jeroboam a parody upon the Mosaic.
(3) Josiah was a type of Christ, the true Son of David. (Compare Isaiah 7:14.) Warning and mercy come before destruction. The army of Judah was stayed from crushing Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:24), and in the mission of the man of God there was mercy in the warning. Let the sinner be admonished not to refuse the gospel. - J.A.M.
And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof.
1. That the burden of causing this misery and sin was mainly to be laid to the old prophet's charge, there can be no doubt whatever. Although the delinquency of the man of God was great, the guilt of his aged brother was greater far; the former, indeed, yielded unjustifiably to temptation, but the latter assumed a part fit only for the malice of Satan him. self. Our blessed Lord spoke with His characteristic monitory expression, when He joined the character of "a liar and a murderer" together; and pointed out to certain of the Jews that their "father the devil" had been "a destroyer from the beginning, because he abode not in the truth, and there was no truth in him."
2. The next thing we should observe, is the singular faith and courage of his conduct, after he had been forced to announce his own victim's punishment, and after the result of his treachery had broken, in its dreadful reality, upon his mind. Compunction and remorse evidently seized upon his mind, when he set forth upon the sorrowful errand of bringing back to an honoured burial, and a deep mourning, the man whom he had hurried to this untimely end. He saw and acknowledged the finger of God in this thing.
3. Moreover, it is evident that he must by this time have become touched with the truths which God had proclaimed by the mouth of His servant, and the richly earned vengeance in store for the crying sins of Israel. For, according to the words of our text, he solemnly forewarned his sons of the certain accomplishment of "the saying which was cried by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel, and all the houses of the high places which were in the cities of Samaria"; this, said he, "shall surely come to pass." And that there was repentance in the after-conduct of the old prophet; and that God was mercifully pleased to look upon it with a pitying eye, there is some ground for hope in the issue of the event, as it came to pass in God's own time. For when Josiah had accomplished the Divine vengeance on all the abominations of Bethel; had deposed its priests, broken clown its high places, and defiled its altars; and was in the act of taking the dead from the sepulchres on the mount, and burning them on the altars of the former sin; we read that he religiously spared "the sepulchre of the man of God that came from Judah"; and that they let his bones alone, together with "the bones of the prophet that came cub of Samaria." A signal act of mercy this, on a day of severe and general retribution!Lessons:
1. I need scarcely say that this example directs its first and broadest rebuke against all such as would ever knowingly and wilfully oppose and pervert the truth. This is a species of guilt so monstrous and offensive in the eyes of God and man; so merely malicious in its whole drift, and policy, and endeavour; that one would think it needs only to be noted, to be at once shunned and abhorred. It was the first origin of all corruption and misery on the face of God's pure and perfect creation; the cause of man's degradation, and the cursing of the earth for his sake: by it "sin entered into the world, and death by sin."
2. But further, there is a modification of the old prophet's sin, into which we may sometimes fall, without at all going to its full extent. We are apt to be enamoured of our own particular views of what we are pleased to think is truth; to cherish these, and to propagate these, without sufficient warranty for their sound and solid foundation in what is right.
(J. Puckle, M. A.)
(A. Whyte, D. D.)
PeopleDavid, Jeroboam, Josiah
TopicsAltar, Apart, Ashes, Behold, Broken, Burned, Declared, Forth, Overturned, Poured, Rent, Saying, Sign, Split, Spoken, Torn, Waste
Outline1. Jeroboam's hand withers
6. and at the prayer of the prophet is restored
7. The prophet departs from Bethel
11. An old prophet brings him back
20. He is reproved by God
23. slain by a lion
26. buried by the old prophet
31. who confirms the prophecy
33. Jeroboam's obstinacy
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 13:1-3
1429 prophecy, OT fulfilment
LibraryWhether Christ Took Flesh of the Seed of David?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ did not take flesh of the seed of David. For Matthew, in tracing the genealogy of Christ, brings it down to Joseph. But Joseph was not Christ's father, as shown above (Q, A, ad 1,2). Therefore it seems that Christ was not descended from David. Objection 2: Further, Aaron was of the tribe of Levi, as related Ex. 6. Now Mary the Mother of Christ is called the cousin of Elizabeth, who was a daughter of Aaron, as is clear from Lk. 1:5,36. Therefore, …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
Interpretation of Prophecy.
And Yet, by Reason of that Affection of the Human Heart...
The Prophet Hosea.
Paul's Departure and Crown;
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