Cryin', Lyin', Lion, Dyin'By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, April 8, 2012.
Cryin,' Lyin,' Lion, Dyin' (1 Kings 13) The Background A. The kingdom had recently divided over the reckless attitude of Solomon's son, Rehoboam. 1KI 12:12-19. B. The split was actually due to Solomon's idolatry. 1KI 11:9-13. C. By the order of God, Jeroboam was made king over the ten tribes. 1KI 11:31; 12:20. D. Jeroboam promptly turned Israel to idolatry. 1KI 12:28-30. 1. Jeroboam gained an ongoing notoriety for this wickedness. 2. No less than 20 times are forms of the phrase, “...who made Israel to sin” attached to Jeroboam's name. 3. Israel never completely divested itself of idolatry and was finally destroyed and dispersed by the Assyrians. 4. This is a sobering example of the extended consequences of popular leadership's errors. E. A summary of Jeroboam's “religion” is instructive. 1. It was self-serving and politically motivated. 1KI 12:27. 2. It was ostensibly “for the people.” 1KI 12:28. 3. It was one of convenience that catered to carnal interests. 1KI 12:28. 4. It had a historical precedent. 1KI 12:28 c/w EXO 32:4. 5. It was an expression of Jeroboam's power. 1KI 12:33. 6. It was a synthesis of paganism and the form of God's service. 7. It rivaled and opposed God's ordained form of service. 8. It was the religion of 5/6 of the tribes of Israel. 9. It was the worship of devils. 2CH 11:15. vs. 1-10. A. Furthering his rebellion, Jeroboam arrogated priestly offices as an expression of his power in ecclesiastical matters. 1. Such folly cost Israel's first king the kingdom. 1SAM 13:8-14. 2. A later king of Judah would make a similar mistake. 2CH 26:16. 3. The combined offices of king and priest were reserved to Messiah. HEB 6:20; 7:1. 4. Distinct Biblical offices are meant to be just that. a. The office of deacon is a Biblical office in the church that was formed out of necessity by ministerial appointment. ACT 6:1-3. b. Nowhere are deacons given the rule of the church which was given to the ministry. HEB 13:7, 17. c. Deacons who grasp at ministerial rule are similar to Korah and the Levites who were basically deacons to the priesthood. NUM 16:1-3, 7. 5. Jeroboam's inventive offering was but another form of strange fire which invokes God's wrath. c/w LEV 10:1-2. B. During Jeroboam's church service, a prophet from Judah interrupted with a rebuke from God. 1. Evidently, God was not too concerned about the seeming impropriety of such an interruption. 2. Whereas Judah's army had recently been turned back from confronting Jeroboam (1KI 12:24), Judah's prophet was not. Cryin,' Lyin,' Lion, Dyin' Page 1 of 4 a. Religious and moral reform may well overthrow what an army cannot. Perhaps a better way of changing other countries' thinking is with the gospel rather than guns. b. Many nations failed to bring down Rome, but the gospel broke that monster. DAN 2:44. C. Jeroboam's idol and altar were at Beth-el. 1. Beth-el means house of God. 2. In the very place where the true God's honor should have been upheld, an abomination was introduced and its service underway. 3. Be it a golden calf (EXO 32), a star (ACT 7:43) or a green tree (DEU 12:2; ISA 57:5), or any other token, vestige or custom of paganism, they have NEVER been acceptable incorporations into God's house and service. DEU 12:30-31; 2CO 6:16; 1CO 10:7; ROM 2:22. a. Jesus Christ was born to deliver men from sins like idolatry, unbiblical religious traditions and fables, revelings, banquetings, carnality, and commercialized religion. b. And how is it that men deem it proper to remember His birth, death and resurrection? D. The man of God cried not to Jeroboam, but to the altar. c/w JER 22:28-29; EZE 36:1, 4; MAT 23:37. 1. More than 300 years before his reign, God named the king who would desecrate this altar. c/w 2KI 23:16, 20. 2. Such incredible prophetic accuracy was meant to be a rebuke to vain idolaters. ISA 42:8-9; 48:5. 3. An altar is assumed to be greater than the gift offered thereon. MAT 23:18-20. a. If the altar be so despised, what of its sacrifices? b. Similarly, the Jerusalem altar and its sacrifices were eventually despised by reason of a greater altar. HEB 13:10-14. 4. NOTE: Jeroboam's altar stood as a rival to the ordained altar at Jerusalem. a. It served to distract God's people with an alternative to identifying with God in His appointed place and manner. b. What of modern pseudo- or para-church “ministries” which stand as substitutes for local church identity, duty and accountability? E. Jeroboam responded to the godly rebuke by seeking to lay hands on the prophet to his own regret. c/w 2CH 26:19. 1. His character was thus revealed. PRO 9:7; 15:12. 2. But God defends His prophets. PSA 105:14-15. 3. Matthew Henry made this spiritual observation here: “If God, in justice, harden the hearts of sinners, so that the hand they have stretched out in sin they cannot pull in again by repentance, that is a spiritual judgment, represented by this, and much more dreadful.” F. The altar split and ashes poured out, fulfilling the prophet's sign and confirming his word. G. Jeroboam pleaded for his hand's restoration, which was granted. 1. He pleaded not for forgiveness of his sin or for the spirit of repentance. c/w EXO 10:17; ACT 8:24. 2. (ROM 8:5) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 3. The prophet magnified Christian charity by praying for his persecutor (MAT 5:44) and his effectual, fervent prayer availed much. JAM 5:16. H. Jeroboam was humbled and offered hospitality to the prophet. Cryin,' Lyin,' Lion, Dyin' Page 2 of 41. “Favours to the body will make even graceless men seem grateful to good ministers” (Matthew Henry). So, many followed Jesus because of the loaves and fishes, not the riches of His grace. JOH 6:26. 2. Following in the faith of Abraham who rejected a wicked king's rewards (GEN 14:23), the prophet was more moved by the word of the Lord which forbade him to stay. a. By this we may appreciate the importance of self-denial, that obedience to the word of God is more important than satisfying natural appetites. MAT 4:4; HEB 12:16. b. By this we may appreciate the need for the righteous to not commune with a false church operating under the banner of “the house of God.” vs.11-22. A. Having stood up to a wicked king, the prophet would now face an even greater peril: a false prophet. 1. If this old prophet was a faithful prophet of God, what were his sons doing at Jeroboam's dedication of his altar? v. 11. 2. If he was a faithful prophet, why was he not there rebuking Jeroboam? 3. Never mind that the old prophet claimed to prophesy “...by the word of the LORD...” (v. 18). Many reprobates lay claim to such. MAT 7:21-23. 4. Never mind that the old prophet did receive a word from the Lord (v. 20). So did Balaam's ass and Caiaphas. NUM 22:28; JOH 11:51. B. The old prophet, under color of divine sanction and hospitality, designed to defile the man of God. The wicked love to corrupt a man of God. AMO 2:12; NEH 6:10-13 c/w TIT 2:7-8. 1. The old prophet knew that the man of God was under a heavenly restriction, for his sons had told him. v. 11. 2. Thus, his actions were calculated and mischievous from the start. a. “....But he lied unto him” (v. 18). b. Scripture warns of deliberate liars who teach doctrine designed to corrupt the righteous. EPH 4:14. 3. The old prophet pretended to have received a new revelation from God via an angel which countermanded God's previous word. v. 18. a. God's word never contradicts itself. 2PE 1:20. b. The prophet whose prophecy countered what God had previously declared was identifying himself as a false prophet. DEU 13:1-3. c. Angels who contradict God's word are damned. GAL 1:8. d. Woe unto those who heed voices contrary to God's word, be they mens' or angels'! 4. See here the subtle nature of deceitful hospitality. a. No amount of hospitality justifies a sinner in his attempts to corrupt the righteous. b. No amount of hospitality justifies the righteous to abandon known duty and principle. The man of God must ever be on guard against outwardly sweet gestures which would entice him to compromise. c. Hospitality is a compliment to godliness. It is NO substitute for godliness! 5. God then spoke to the old false prophet, not the man of God whose destruction is then prophesied. Hot are the just rebukes of God's servants by the mouth of the wicked. vs. 23-32. A. According to the prophecy, the man of God is shortly killed by a lion. Cryin,' Lyin,' Lion, Dyin' Page 3 of 41. He had become a castaway, even as Paul feared. 1CO 9:27. 2. He was turned over to a roaring lion for the destruction of the flesh. 1PE 5:8 c/w 1CO 5:5. B. The lion did not kill the ass, only the errant prophet. 1. This may explain why a true man of God who falls away from God's word may suffer the chastening of the Lord while a Benny Hinn carries on prosperously. 2. It was the man of God who was empowered to represent God's interests to society, not the ass. Satan prefers to attack the ministry which constitutes a greater threat to him than the elements of the world who are not thus empowered. 3. The only person who died in this story was the man of God! a. Jeroboam, the false prophet and the ass all survived. b. (JAM 3:1) My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. c. Yet even in this there is comfort. 1CO 11:32 c/w HEB 12:8. C. The lion did not eat the prophet's carcass, contrary to its nature. 1. The lion was restrained from going any further than God allowed. 2. So Satan was limited in his designs on Christ. He was allowed to kill Christ, but had no power over Him in death. ACT 4:27-28; 2:24, 27. 3. The bodies of those in Christ do not belong to Satan. 1CO 6:19-20; JUDE 1:9. 4. The lion's slaying of the prophet in no wise undid the word of the Lord against Jeroboam. D. The old prophet, having corrupted and destroyed the man of God, then curiously sought to honor him in death. c/w MAT 23:29. vs. 33-34. A. Though having been warned and then shown great mercy in the restoring of his arm, Jeroboam plunged ahead in his idolatry. ISA 26:10. B. The prophet's payday came promptly. Jeroboam's came later. C. (ROM 15:4) For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Cryin,' Lyin,' Lion, Dyin' Page 4 of 4