Now when King Jeroboam, who was at the altar in Bethel, heard the word that the man of God had cried out against it, he stretched out his hand and said, "Seize him!" But the hand he stretched out toward him withered, so that he could not pull it back.
I. JEROBOAM WAS A TYPICAL SINNER.
1. He transgressed God's law -
(1) In making images. The law forbad this (Exodus 20:4, 5). But he made two golden calves. Note: Images of God must be caricatures, and God will not be mocked, solemnly or otherwise, with impunity. How many frightful caricatures of Deity has the "man of sin" perpetrated! (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12.)
(2) In multiplying altars. Legal worship was limited to one altar "in the place which the Lord should choose" (Deuteronomy 16:16). This was to keep before men the one only Mediator (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). Therefore other altars than that at Jerusalem were "altars unto sin" (Hosea 8:11).
(3) In creating priests. According to the law, none but sons of Aaron had a Divine vocation to the priesthood (Exodus 30:7, 8; 2 Chronicles 26:18; Hebrews 5:4). According to the gospel, Christ is sole Priest. Jeroboam, an Ephrathite, invaded the law principle, making himself high priest, and making subordinate priests of the lowest of the people.
2. He did so impudently.
(1) His sin was not of ignorance, for he had access to the Scriptures; but it did not serve his purpose to refer to them.
(2) Prophecy was particularly distasteful to him, for his doom is written there. Jeroboam had this from the lips of Ahijah, and now has it from the man of God from Judah. Beware of the spirit that would discourage a study upon which God has pronounced a blessing (Revelation 1:3).
(3) The spirit of his religion was political. He would not have troubled himself with it had he not political ends to serve (1 Kings 12:26-29). And to carry out these he dissembled: "It is too much for you to go to Jerusalem!"
II. HIS DOOM ALSO WAS TYPICAL.
1. He was confronted by the word of God.
(1) With this the man of God from Judah withstood him at his altar. So by the word of the Lord, and especially with the spirit of prophecy, has the man of sin been confronted by Waldenses, Paulikiaus, Hussites, Lutherans, and such like men "from Judah."
(2) But against this testimony he invoked the civil power under his usurped control (ver. 4). The spirit of persecution was there. The modern Jeroboam carried it further (Daniel 12:21; Revelation 13:7; Revelation 17:6).
2. He was humbled by the power of God.
(1) His hand was withered; his power to persecute was paralyzed. How powerless is the hand of man when arrested by the hand of God! Behind the political restraints which now hold the persecuting hand of our enemies we must discern the invisible hand of God.
(3) The altar, then, was cloven, and the ashes of the spurious sacrifices poured out as with contempt. This also was effected by the same invisible hand. Who can resist the might of God?
(4) Constrained by these judgments, he confessed the finger of God, and entreated the man of God to pray for the restoration of his hand (see Exodus 10:16, 17; Numbers 21:7; Matthew 5:23, 24).
3. Yet he persisted in his sin.
(1) His humiliation was selfish. It was the creature of his terror and suffering, so it was transient.
(2) True repentance is of a loftier principle, and is enduring. It is a life, as faith also is a life.
(3) Instead of using his restored hand to demolish his high places, he used it to repair the altar at Bethel, and persisted in his sin (vers. 33, 34; 2 Chronicles 13:20). But Josiah executed the judgments of prophecy in due time, So will the modern Jeroboam and his monstrous organization of sin perish in the fires of the judgment (Daniel 7:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:8). Note: Let those come out of Babylon who would escape her plagues. - J.A.M.
He put forth his hand.
Outline from Sermons by a London Minister.I. ALL HUMAN POWER AND SKILL ENGAGED AGAINST GOD WILL WITHER. The hand of man is the bodily mark of his superiority to the animal creation; it represents his power and skill. It is the bread winner of the body. By its skilful use he imitates the works of God in nature, and by its means he sends down his thoughts to posterity. Jeroboam's outstretched hand was the type of all human opposition to God's rule, especially the opposition of the rulers of the world. Its withering was the exposition of "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17); "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh" (Psalm 2:4, etc.)
II. PHYSICAL BLESSING IS OF MORE IMPORTANCE TO THE UNGODLY MAN THAN MORALITY OF CHARACTER. Christ's teaching is, "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off " (Matthew 18:8), count no earthly loss worthy of a thought compared with an injury to the spiritual life.
(Outline from Sermons by a London Minister.)
(A. Whyte, D. D.)
PeopleDavid, Jeroboam, Josiah
TopicsAltar, Bethel, Beth-el, Cried, Draw, Dried, Jeroboam, Pass, Pull, Saying, Seize, Shriveled, Stretched
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 13:4
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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