for the message that he cried out by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the cities of Samaria will surely come to pass."
I. THE OLD PROPHET SOUGHT MERCY.
1. His conduct expressed repentance.
(1) He went out for the corpse of the man of God, and brought it to his home, discerning the hand of God in the judgment. Looking now upon that ghastly form of death he saw his own sad work. He had caused a mischief he could not now repair. How inadequately men estimate beforehand the consequences of their wrong doing! (9.) He decently interred the body in his own grave. This was the only reparation now within his power for the injury he had caused, But how inadequate! What a bitter thought!
(3) He "mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother!" This exclamation (הוי אחי) was the refrain of a lamentation (see Jeremiah 22:18). Ward, in his "Manners and Customs of the Hindoos," gives two specimens of such lamentations. There are frequent allusions to these in the prophets (see Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 6:11; Joel 1:15; Amos 5:16, 17; Revelation 18:10-19). With the old prophet this was more than a conventional mourning, he mourned for himself before God.
2. His conduct also expressed faith.
(1) He commanded his sons, when he died, to lay his bones beside those of the man of God. He believed him to be a man of God in reality, notwithstanding this single act of disobedience for which he had suffered death. There are "sins unto death," viz., of the body, which do not involve the final death of the soul. He desired to be with him in the resurrection. The concern of the ancients respecting the disposition of their bodies after death arose out of their faith in a resurrection (see Genesis 1:24 26; Exodus 13:19; Hebrews 11:22; see also 2 Kings 13:20, 21).
(2) He gave as the reason of his command the faith he had in the certainty of the prophecy of the man of God (ver. 32). And in further testimony of his faith put an inscription on the tomb (see 2 Kings 23:17). He desired to be associated in death with the denouncers of Jeroboam's sin rather than with those involved in that sin. Nor would he be identified in the judgment with perverters of true worship.
(3) By this faith his bones were spared when those of the priests and votaries of Jeroboam were burnt upon the altar by Josiah (see 2 Kings 23:19). By a corresponding faith shall we be saved from the judgments of the more illustrious Son of David upon the man of sin of the mystical Babylon.
II. BUT JEROBOAM ENCOUNTERED THE EXTREMITY OF WRATH.
1. He disregarded the goodness of God.
(1) The conditional promises by the hand of Ahijah were very gracious (1 Kings 11:37-39). What a magnificent opportunity he had! But he missed it.
(2) What opportunities have we wasted? Who can estimate their value? No opportunity of glorifying God should escape us.
2. He disregarded his remonstrances.
(1) The judgments upon Rehoboam were lessons to him. The same God who in them visited the sins of Solomon had also set him upon the throne of Israel, and would deal with him upon the same principles. But he sinned against this admonition.
(2) Then came the warning from the man of God at the altar. That God was in this warning was left without doubt by the signs (vers. 3-6). These staggered him for a moment; but there was no true repentance.
(3) Then came the final warning in the death of the man of God for being implicated, though by a deception, in his sin. This also was shown to be from God by miraculous signs (ver. 64). But this also he disregarded (ver. 33).
(4) Now, therefore, the law of extremity must take its course. He and his house are devoted to destruction (ver. 34). This last warning was written in letters of blood. God gave it to Him at the expense of His own servant. And He warns us at the expense of His own Son; and if we finally reject Christ the extremity of mercy is spurned, and we must encounter the extremity of wrath. - 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, Bethel, Beth-el, Certainly, Cities, Cried, Declared, Houses, Outcry, Pass, Places, Samaria, Sama'ria, Saying, Shrines, Surely, Towns
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 13:32
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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