A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
1 Kings 13: God uses a lion to kill a good man
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.
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.