1 Kings 13:23 (NIV) 23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.
On verses 23-32: Earlier in verses 21 and 22, the older prophet gives the younger prophet a word from God that the younger prophet has defied God’s command by eating and drinking when God specifically told him not to eat and drink during his trip (v21-22). Notice the younger prophet’s response in verse 23: there is no indication that the younger prophet repented or felt remorse for what he did. It seems like he just got on his donkey and proceeded to go home as if everything was normal. Notice what happens next to the younger prophet: “As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.” (v24)
Upon hearing the news of the younger prophet’s death, the older prophet finds his body, buries him in his own tomb and tells his sons to bury him beside the younger prophet. This was the older prophet’s way of identifying and supporting the prophecy that the younger prophet had spoken earlier (v32). The older prophet might also have done this because he felt partially responsible for the younger prophet’s death.
What can we learn from this? All of us will make mistakes from time to time, but it’s how we respond to those mistakes that is the most important. When we, like the younger prophet, do not repent of our sin and just saddle up and go on our merry way, we give the devil — who is described elsewhere in Scripture as a lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) — room to attack us and do great, even fatal, damage. So when you sin, be quick to repent. Don’t let unconfessed sin open the door to Satan’s attacks and even greater problems. Protect yourself from the lion’s attacks by repenting quickly of sin and looking to Jesus for forgiveness.
1 Kings 13:33-34 (NIV) 33 Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.
On verses 33-34: Highlight those words “Even after this”. Even after God had spoken to Jeroboam and moved powerfully in Jeroboam’s life with signs and wonders (v1-6), Jeroboam “did not change his evil ways” (v33). He continued to appoint anyone and everyone to be priests in the new idolatrous religion he had created. Verse 34 confirms that this failure to change his ways is what led to the downfall and destruction of Jeroboam’s entire house.
What can we learn from this? To a greater extent than the younger prophet who was earlier killed by the lion, Jeroboam’s hardheartedness toward God eventually led not only to his own destruction but also the destruction of Jeroboam’s family. When we persist in sin and refuse to turn to God even after all the mercy and grace God has shown us, we are signing our own death warrant as well as setting up our future generations for much trouble.
If there is unconfessed sin in your life, I encourage you to repent of that sin today. Confess it specifically to God, knowing that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. After that you can pray:
Lord Jesus, thank You that by Your shed blood on the cross I have total forgiveness for every sin. Thank You for Your mercy over my life. Today in Jesus’ name I cut off Satan from harming me in any way. Help me, Lord, to walk in Your ways and obey Your commands, which You give for my protection and my good. Be glorified in me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!