Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 14

Jeroboam’s son becomes ill

1 Kings 14:1-4

Jeroboam was the king of central and northern Israel. He had established a new system of religion in Israel, where people prayed at the idols (images) in Dan and Bethel. However, when his son became desperately ill, Jeroboam did not depend on his idols. Instead, he secretly sent his wife to Ahijah, a prophet (holy man) who remained loyal to the true God. Long before, Ahijah had told Jeroboam the message from God that Jeroboam would become king (11:29-39).

As the king, Jeroboam’s words were important – there was real power in his statements and commands. He seems to have believed that a prophet’s words and declarations have similar power in the spirit world. That belief is in fact correct – however, a prophet must only declare what God tells him to say. It is God’s words that matter, and not the prophet’s own words (13:15-22).

So Jeroboam was not really praying to God for help. Rather, he was trying to persuade the prophet to say something good about his son.

For that reason, Jeroboam was careful to choose a prophet who had spoken good things to him in the past. Of course, a loyal prophet of God would not approve of Jeroboam’s new religion. It seemed very important that the prophet was not angry – so, Jeroboam was careful to make sure that nobody would recognise his wife. Ahijah was in fact blind – but it would ruin Jeroboam’s plan if someone introduced Jeroboam’s wife to him. To please the prophet, Jeroboam told his wife to take him a gift that he would appreciate. Honey, in particular, was difficult to obtain and people considered it to be very special (Genesis 43:11; Psalm 19:10).

Next part: God tells Ahijah that Jeroboam's wife is coming (1 Kings 14:5-6)


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