Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 13

The holy man obeys God’s instructions

1 Kings 13:6-10

A holy man had declared God’s message against King Jeroboam’s new religion. When Jeroboam tried to arrest him, he (Jeroboam) lost the power to move his own arm.

When this happened, Jeroboam changed his attitude towards the holy man. Jeroboam had seen clear evidence that God truly had sent that holy man.

So, Jeroboam realised that he should respect God. He knew that God had appointed him to rule over northern and central Israel (11:31-32). He also knew why God had appointed him - it was because Solomon had followed false religions (11:33). Now Jeroboam himself had established his own wrong religion.

So Jeroboam humbly asked the holy man to pray for him. When the holy man prayed, God cured Jeroboam’s arm. Jeroboam then tried to give honour to the holy man. He invited him to his royal home, for a meal and to receive a gift.

The man refused. He declared that he must obey God’s instructions completely. God had told him not to eat or to drink in the country that Jeroboam ruled. He could not even return on the same road by which he came. So, he could not be the guest of the king or anyone else there. His duty was to declare God’s message and then to leave quickly.

The reason was that Jeroboam and his nation were turning away from God. So it would be wrong for this holy man with his important message to accept any pleasure there. He must not do anything that seemed to approve of Jeroboam’s wrong behaviour (compare Jesus’ instructions in Mark 6:11).

Next part: An invitation not to obey God (1 Kings 13:11-17)


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