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Prophet Confronts Jeroboam
Bible Passage 1 Kings 13: 1-10
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2022 & book 1 Kings.

Prophet Confronts Jeroboam

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached October 11, 2022

1 And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the LORD, to Bethel. And Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.

2 And he cried against the altar by the word of the LORD and said, “O, altar, altar, thus says the LORD. ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon you he shall offer the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and men’s bones shall be burned upon you.’ ”

3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the LORD has spoken. ‘Behold, the altar shall be torn apart, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.’ ”

4 Then it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God who had cried against the altar in Bethel, he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, “Lay hold on him!” And his hand, which he put forth against him withered up so that he could not pull it in again to himself.

5 The altar also was split asunder and the ashes poured out from the altar according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.

6 And the king answered and said to the man of God, “Seek now the face of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me again.” And the man of God prayed to the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored to him again and became as at the beginning.

7 And the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”

8 And the man of God said to the king, “If you will give me half your house, I will not go in with you, nor will I eat bread nor drink water in this place,

9 For so was it commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Eat no bread nor drink water, nor return again by the same way that you came.’ ”

10 Then he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.


When Jeroboam was made king of the Northern kingdom Israel, he set up his own shrines, instituted his own order of priests and festivals (1 Kings 12: 26ff). Jeroboam instituted an entire new religion he picked from the neighbouring countries. This is equivalent to the kind of golden calf Aaron made for the Israelites to worship at Sinai. This attitude was a total rebellion against God.

God soon showed that this new form of religion was totally unacceptable to Him. A prophet from Judah came to Bethel and, by bold words and dramatic actions, condemned both Jeroboam and the people of Israel (1 Kings 13:1-10).

God sent a prophet from Judah to Israel. He announced what would happen to the altar in the future. He even named the king who would destroy that altar. King Josiah would sacrifice the bones of the priests who had worshipped other gods on this altar.

Jeroboam tried to arrest the prophet for his message but his arm suddenly became weak. It seemed dry and without life and he was unable to move it. God was showing everyone that Jeroboam had no power over the prophet. The prophet had authority from God and no king’s authority is ever greater than God’s authority. Hallelujah!

Jeroboam asked the prophet to pray that God would cure him, and God did this. Then Jeroboam invited the prophet to come home for a meal. He also offered him a gift. Jeroboam was trying to reward the prophet, because Jeroboam’s arm was well again. The prophet refused because God had warned him not to accept the king’s offer. He wanted to show Jeroboam that God did not want payment, but a change of mind (repent).

The prophet did not want to associate with Jeroboam’s worship of idols. God does not forgive us because of the things that we do. He does not forgive us because of the gifts that we bring. We must change our minds and trust in Jesus.

The special instructions that God gave to this prophet show the importance of the prophet’s words. And people continued to remember his words for many centuries because of the strange events that happened next.

🔷 God’s servants and messengers should not look back to be lured by wealth and worldly things that are acquired through foul means

🔷 God expects us to repent of our sins and not increase our gift as a bribe to Him

🔷 No authority is more powerful than that of God Almighty

💥 Pray that nothing will stop you from speaking only the truth
💥 Ask God to break your heart of disobedience and personal aggrandizement

It’s rather important and the best to obey God and His instructions rather than getting puff up to live in our own style and pleasing. God’s ministers must not accept gifts and bribes to bait them into twisting the message with which they have been sent. God will surely provide for and protect His own.

In series Bright Morning Reflections