1 Kings 13

Talks for Growing Christians

An Unusual Story about Two Prophets from Judah

1 Kings 13

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Lesson Number 18

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. A servant of the Lord must speak the word of the Lord.
  2. A servant of the Lord must do the will of the Lord.

Practical Application

  1. Beware of a believer who says, “The Lord told me…”


  1. Jeroboam sinned greatly by making two calf idols. Who pronounced judgment on this sin?
  2. What prophecy was made by this messenger of God?
  3. What immediate sign did this messenger of God give?
  4. How was this sign seen?
  5. What gracious act was performed by this messenger?
  6. What effect did this have on the king?


  1. God sent a prophet from Judah up to the golden calf idol in Bethel to pronounce judgment.
  2. The prophet said that a king from Judah named Josiah would actually burn the bones of the false priests on this idolatrous altar. This remarkable prophecy was fulfilled about 300 years after the time of the pronouncement. See 2 Kings 23:15-16.
  3. That the idolatrous altar at Bethel would split apart.
  4. When Jeroboam tried to catch the prophet, his outstretched arm became paralyzed, and the idolatrous altar at Bethel split apart before his very eyes.
  5. The prophet graciously healed Jeroboam’s arm.
  6. The king did not turn back to the Lord. Notice what he said to the prophet, “Please entreat the favor of the Lord YOUR God…” (1 Kings 13:6)


  1. The prophet refused any reward from the ungodly king, saying, “It was commanded me by the word of the Lord.” The mission of this prophet from Judah was to come to the shrine and pronounce the word of the Lord and to return home. He was not to be sidetracked by any offer of reward. The same is true today, a servant of the Lord must speak the word of the Lord. See 2 Timothy 4:2. This is our mission. The Lord Jesus said that we are in this world, but not of it. We are to be salt and light in this world. We are to separate from the evil of this world, but not from the needs of this world. Are you a servant of the Lord, speaking the word of the Lord without being sidetracked?
  2. Re-read the story of the prophet of Judah who was killed by a lion for stopping to have a meal with the old prophet. Although our sympathies are with this prophet, we must realize the seriousness of any sin that is in direct disobedience to the command of the Lord. God must judge disobedience to His word. See 1 Peter 4:17. How about you? Are you disobeying the Lord in any area of your life right now? Do you really want to be a servant of the Lord? A servant of the Lord must do the will of the Lord.


  1. Have you ever had a fellow believer say to you, “The Lord told me…,” Or, “The Lord showed me that you should…” This is what the older prophet said to the younger prophet, perhaps out of jealousy. There’s always a danger of this happening in the church today. Fellow believers may have all kinds of agendas. Believers of all generations should watch out for this pitfall. Balance this with godly counsel to guide you.

Key Verses

  • “A man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of God…and cried out against the alter by the word of the Lord…” 1 Kings 13:1-2
  • “The king offered the man of God a reward. But the man of God refused, saying, ‘It was commanded me by the word of the Lord…” 1 Kings 13:7-9
  • “The old prophet said, ‘I have been told by the word of the Lord…” 1 Kings 13:17
  • “Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way…” 1 Kings 13:33

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