1 Kings 13: God uses a lion to kill a good man

Synopsis:

Because the altars with the golden calves were sins against God, God sent a prophet (a man of God) from Judah to remind King Jeroboam of this fact. Jeroboam heard the prophet but ignored him and went to touch the altar. His hand dried up. Jeroboam entreated the prophet to pray to God to restore his hand, and it was as before. The king asked this prophet to come home and have food with him, but the prophet said no, God had told him not to eat or drink anything in this place. An old prophet in Beth-el heard of what had happened and had his ass saddled and went to find the young prophet (man of God) and invited him home to eat. The man of God said no, but the old prophet lied and said, I am a prophet too and an angel told me to come get you and offer you food. So the man of God agreed, but after he had eaten bread and had drunk, he left to go home and was killed by a lion. Word got back to the old prophet who realized that God had killed him for not obeying his injunction not to eat while away from Judah. went to collect the carcass and buried it. The old prophet asked his sons to bury him with the man of God when he dies.   None of this impacted king Jeroboam who went back to his evil ways right away.

In other words:

God sends a prophet to warn Jeroboam that he is committing sins and then has a lion kill his prophet because the dude ate some bread.

Favorite bit:

1 Kings 13: 33,34 – After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places.  If having your hand shriveled and restored doesn’t convince you, nothing will.

Least favorite bit:

That God doesn’t kill Jeroboam for disobeying him, but kills his prophet for eating bread when he wasn’t supposed to!  (1 Kings 13:23,24)

Most annoying  bit:

1 Kings 13:18 – The old prophet tells the man of God an angel told him to bring you back and the man of God believes him. Certainly God could have spoke up and said – hey – don’t do that!  But no – I’m going to let you disobey me and not tell you this guy is lying and then kill you for disobeying me over some bread. This is one of those – God is being a real petty jerk moments.

Most amusing bit:

1 Kings 13:13 – “And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass.” Funny how priests never write sermons about this little gem of scripture.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Be careful around lions (1 Kings 13)

1 Kings 14: Egypt invades

Synopsis:

Jeroboam’s son falls sick so he sends his wife to see the prophet Ahijah, who tells her – the boy is going to die because of the sins of the father making molten images. And Jeroboam is cursed. Sure enough, the kid dies and Jeroboam’s reign is filled with war. He reigns 22  years and then his son Nadab takes over. Meanwhile in Judah, reigns for 17 years and in that time, they also provoked the Lord to jealous with other gods and sodomites. In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign, King Shishak of Egypt invades and takes all the treasures of the house of the Lord away, including the shields of god which Solomon had made. So Rehobaum replaced them with brass shields and put guards over the temple. Throughout their reigns, Rehoboam and Jeroboam warred with each other. Rehoboam was succeeded by his son Abijam.

In other words:

While the kings of Judah and Israel are fighting, king of Egypt comes and steals all their stuff.

Favorite bit:

The curse of Jeroboam (1 Kings 14:10,11) Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the Lord hath spoken it.

2nd favorite bit:

1 Kings 14:17-19 – God is really upset that he exalted Jeroboam and made him king and how does Jeroboam repay him?  By making golden images. You are nothing like David!

3rd favorite bit:

1 Kings 14: 22-24 – And Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy. (The other king isn’t any better – God sure is a bad judge of character).

Funniest bit:

1 Kings 14:25,26 – While Rehoboam and Jeroboam are fighting the king of Egypt comes and steals all their stuff

Most annoying bit:

1 Kings 14:19 and 1 Kings 14:29 – the rest of the acts of these kings were written in the chronicles.  So – you are already supposed to know what all happened, it’s not going to be repeated here.  I realize this is a transcription if a verbal story, but still – I kind of want to know what all they did.

Moral Lesson Learned:


  • Find out what people are really like before you hire them (1 Kings 14) 
  • Never forget who your real enemy is (1 Kings 14)


1 Kings 11: King Solomon goes a whoring

Synopsis:

Solomon loved many “strange” women. In fact  He had 700 wives, and 300 concubines from all over the place. When he got old, he started worshipping other gods, like Ashtoreth (a god of the Zidonians) and Milcom (a god of the Ammonites).  He even built in Jerusalem a ‘high place’ for Chemosh ( a god of the Moabites) and Molech (a god of the children of Ammon).  God was obviously pretty angry with Solomon, but, out of respect for David, decides not to harm Solomon or his kingdom, but he will only give 1 tribe to Solomon’s son and the rest will go to someone else. God stirred up several people against Solomon including Hadad the Edomite, Rezon who ended up ruling over Syria, and Jeroboam who was the son of one of Solomon’s servants. A prophet found Jeroboam and tore his clothese into 12 pieces and gave Jeroboam 10 pieces, to show that he would get 10 of the tribes of Israel per God’s will.  Solomon wanted to kill Jeroboam but Jeroboam fled to Egypt and stayed there with the king Shishak of Egypt until Solomon died.  Solomon reigned 40 years and was buried in the city of David, and Rehoboam, his sun reigned in his stead.

In other words:

Solomon has a huge appetite for women AND other gods, which makes God unhappy.

Favorite bit:

Even though Solomon had met God in person twice, he STILL went whoring after other gods. And not just a few gods, A LOT of them. (1 Kings 11:5-10)

Least favorite bit:

1 Kings 11:1-4  A list of all the “strange” women that Solomon web in addition to Pharoah’s daughter.  From this we are supposed to learn that – unless you marry within your faith – you are going to be led astray – because it’s always the women.

It’s almost like god doesn’t exist bit:

1 Kings 11:11-13 Go tells Solomon because you’ve not kept my covenant, I’m going to rend your kingdom from you – but not until you die. Funny how people who do bad things never seem to get punished, but their kids do.

What I think the main moral lesson is:

1 Kings 11:40 – Jeroboam flees to Egypt and Solomon dies, so – he wins by not fighting?

Moral Lesson Learned:

Sometimes you win by not fighting.  (1 Kings 11)
There is no real punishment for not obeying God’s covenants. (1 Kings 11)

1 Kings 12: Rehoboam loses his kingdom to Jeroboam

Synopsis:

After Solomon’s death all the congregation of Israel goes to Rehoboam and tells him – your father taxed us too heavily, please make our burden lighter.  So Rehoboam asks the elders that counselled Solomon, his father. They tell him, agree to lighten their yoke and they will be your servants forever. He then asks his childhood buddies what to do and they said, tax them even more for complaining. So Rehoboam tells everyone he is going to be even worse and tax them even more. When Rehoboam sends out his tax collector Adoram to collect tribute, he is stoned. Rehoboam flees to Jerusalem. When the rest of Israel hears Jeroboam is back from Egypt, they made him King. Rehoboam was king only over Judah. So Rehoboam assembles an army of 180,000 men, but one of Rehoboam’s priests speaks for God and tells everyone not to take up arms against their brothers. So Rehoboam’s army departs and goes home. Jeroboam builds Shechem in mount Ephraim. But he is worried that if people go to Jeruselum to make sacrifices, they will eventually turn against him, so he has two calves of gold made and he puts one up in Beth-el and the other in Dan. He also made priests of the lowest of people and did not use the sons of Levi. All of this was a sin against God.

In other words:

The son of Solomon gets greedy and loses the kingdom.

Favorite bit:

1 Kings 12:18 – where they stone the tax collector. Clearly Rehoboam made a tactical error thinking he could be a greedy jerk and rule over the people.

Craziest bit:

1 Kings 12:28-31 Jeroboam, because he doesn’t want people to worship in Jeruselum, because that’s where Rehoboam is, he sets up, literally, golden calves for the people to worship, even though a golden calf was the reason why Moses and the Levites went on a murderous rampage back in Exodus.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Without the consent of the governed, you cannot govern (1 Kings 12)