Today: [1 Kings Chapter Thirteen]: Your Destiny will Not be an Abortion! In this chapter a prophet is sent to prophesy against the corrupt altar at Bethel. The young prophet is given very detailed instructions and while he complies every word out of his mouth is with great power and force. Afterwards however he yields to temptation and deviates from God’s instructions. As a result he dies before his time and Elijah is raised up in his place. Elijah was not God’s first choice. He took up the mantle of a man who allowed circumstances and the input of others to talk him out of what God had instructed. You are called of God as well. In this chapter you will learn how to assure that your destiny will not become an abortion as the case with this young prophet.
[1Ki 13:1-34 KJV] 1 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. 3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This [is] the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that [are] upon it shall be poured out. 4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 5 The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. 6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as [it was] before. 7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. 8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: 9 For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
Prior to this chapter we read that Solomon dies after leading the nation into idolatry. He went so far as to establish an altar to the idol Chemosh on the Mount of Olives. The name of Chemosh means destroyer. John 10:10 tells us that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. For Solomon to sacrifice to Chemosh on the Mount of Olives is literally Satan worship. Because of this God decides to rend the kingdom from Solomon after his son Rehoboam succeeds him. He sends a prophet to instructed the son of one of Solomon’s servants by the name of Jeroboam to lead the Northern Tribes of Israel in revolt. Jeroboam is successful in setting up a rival kingdom however he is unwilling to allow his subjects to worship at Jerusalem. He erects an altar at Bethel with a golden calf. This was originally the golden calf the people worshipped with Moses delayed to come down from the mountain in the wilderness. The legend was that Aaron took the earrings of the people and threw them into the holy fire on the mountain of God and this calf jumped out. Because Jeroboam does this God sends a prophet out of Judah to confront him.
We do not know the prophet but we know he came out of Judah “by the word of the Lord”. The phrasing here means that the prophet came by “the appointment” of God. Every one of us are to live our lives by the appointment of the Father. Matt. 6:33 says “seek first the kingdom …” The implied statement is that God has a purpose for each person. Eph. 4:1 says to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called…” You have a calling in your life. Your calling is more than a general injunction to be a good Christian. This prophet was told to go to a certain place, to do a specific thing and then to retire in a precise manner according to an instruction that God had given.
Notice that as long as the prophet stayed in his assignment everything he said and did was as effective as if God said it and did it. His prophesy was so detailed that he names a future king by name who would tear down the altar at Bethel. This was 300 years before Josiah was born. Jeroboam points at the prophet to have him executed on the spot and his arm whithers in it’s place. He begs the prophet to pray for him and his arm is restored. Looking forward from this passage we find the next prophet after this prophet that comes on the scene is Elijah. This unnamed prophet will die as we will read in this chapter because he strayed from what God had instructed. I believe this man’s destiny was to be the prophet that Elijah eventually became because this man died before his time. Elijah was not God’s first choice. You have to ask yourself who will God raise up in your place if you fail to seek and purse the vocation that God has called you to? Will your destiny be handed off to another? In the thing that God has called you to do was there someone else that was called but they declined to answer therefore their own destiny became an abortion? We must learn the lesson of this chapter – so that we will not fail to see what God had called us to become a reality.
10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. 11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. 12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. 13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, 14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, [Art] thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I [am]. 15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. 16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17 For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. 18 He said unto him, I [am] a prophet also as thou [art]; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. [But] he lied unto him. 19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. 20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: 21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which [the LORD] did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, [to wit], for the prophet whom he had brought back.
The young prophet obediently goes to Bethel and with great power and demonstration prophesies against the altar there and king Jeroboam. The prophecy he gives is so awesome that he names a certain king 300 years before he is brought forth. This unnamed prophet and his prophecy is one of the most powerful prophetic words given throughout the bible. His mantle is the mantle that eventually Elijah will pick up because this man disobeys what God told him to do. He was told by God to go to Bethel and not to stop to eat on either part of the journey. An elder prophet approaches him and says that God has given him permission to come to his house for a meal. The young prophet yields and in the middle of the meal the spirit of the Lord comes on the old prophet and rebukes the young prophet and predicts his death. Why did the young prophet listen to this man? When God tells you something it is a good idea for you to mark exactly what God said and not to stray later when circumstances or outside influences cloud the issue. God will instruct you but many times as situations play out it isn’t clear exactly what is intended. We need to stay faithful to the clear word that God originally gave us and not deviate without carefully seeking His confirmation. This man forfeited his life and his destiny because he gave in to the counsel of someone he thought was hearing from God.
24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 25 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told [it] in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard [thereof], he said, It [is] the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him. 27 And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled [him]. 28 And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. 29 And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, [saying], Alas, my brother! 31 And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God [is] buried; lay my bones beside his bones: 32 For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which [are] in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass. 33 After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became [one] of the priests of the high places. 34 And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut [it] off, and to destroy [it] from off the face of the earth.
The fact that this story made it into the sacred narrative and the great care for which the body of the young prophet was handled speaks strongly at the plans that God had for him. After his death the mantle of destiny lay dormant and available until Elijah comes along. What mantles are there in the earth neglected and unclaimed because someone didn’t obey God and lost out on their destiny? It is very possible that Elijah was not God’s first choice but nonetheless he stepped up to what God called him to do. Are you willing to be God’s second choice? What about your own destiny? Will you allow someone – perhaps an older, more seasoned mentor to talk you out of what God called you to do? Your greatest accountability is to what God says in your own life – not what He may or may not be using someone else to say. The apostle Paul evidently was not God’s first choice either but after the betrayal of Judas against Jesus we see Paul radically called on the road to Damascus very possibly to take up the mantle that Judas forsook because he listened to other voices. Paul said when he was called he “conferred not with flesh and blood” but in Acts 26:19 was “not disobedient to the heavenly vision…” Let us seek God for instruction and know that our life is not in vain. God has a plan that we will discover if we refuse to go another day without its disclosure. Once made known to us then let us each determine not to deviate or sway from what God has said in our lives no matter how great the temptation.
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