Study Guide

1 Kings Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Are You Lion To Me?

  • One day Jerry is burning incense by his new altar in Bethel. A man of God who has come from Judah walks up and starts talking to the altar.
  • He says, "Hey altar. A kid named Josiah's going to be born into David's house, and he'll sacrifice humans on top of you and burn their bones" (this really happens later in 2 Kings 23:16-20).
  • "And," he says, "this altar's going to break, and the ashes will spill out. That's how you'll know I'm for real."
  • Jerry gets mad that this guy's prophesying bad stuff about his altar, and he grabs him. But when he touches him, Jerry's hand shrivels up.
  • Then the altar breaks and the ashes pour out. Uh-oh.
  • Jerry's not so high-and-mighty anymore, and he asks the man of God to pray for his hand to be restored. He does, and his hand goes back to normal.
  • Jerry invites the man of God to come to his house to freshen up and collect a reward, but he says no way—not even if he offered him half of his kingdom, buster.
  • "The Lord told me not to eat or drink anything around here, and just to go straight home when I was done talking to your altar," he says. And that's what he does.
  • But there is this old prophet living in Bethel, and his sons tell him about what the man of God had said and done. He asks his sons which way the man went, and they tell him.
  • The old prophet climbs on his donkey and rides off toward Judah.
  • He finds the man of God sitting under an oak tree, and invites him to come eat with him at his home.
  • The man of God's like, "No can do. The Lord said so."
  • "But I'm a prophet," says the prophet. "It's cool." So the man of God goes with him to his house for some food and drink.
  • But while they're eating, the word of God comes to the man of God (say that five times fast), who says, "You disobeyed God by coming here, and now you're going to die before you return home."
  • Sure enough, the man of God leaves and gets killed by a lion, who stands guard by his body.
  • The prophet hears about this and goes to collect the body. He buries him in his own grave and mourns over him and the sad prophesy that he uttered to Jerry.
  • Despite this little episode, though, Jerry still does evil in God's eyes by setting up false priests and worshipping idols.

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