1 Kings 13 — This is one of the most interesting stories in the Bible. I used to consider the old prophet a false prophet. After all, God did use false prophets to test Israel (Deut. 13:3), and he does purport to be speaking a word from the LORD relayed to him by an angel (v. 18) when in fact he was lying, but his reaction (vv. 27-32) to the whole incident doesn’t seem like the reaction of a false prophet. He’s never called a false prophet. So what are we to learn from this account? Well, to start, obey God no matter what anyone else says. But perhaps we also learn that not every lying prophet is necessarily a false prophet. True prophets should only speak in the name of the LORD when God speaks. But even true prophets are human and given to sinfulness. Is it not possible that genuine prophets could lie without necessarily being false prophets? I think so.
1 Kings 14 — Tough one for Jeroboam and Israel under his command. I’m especially taken by v. 11 and the dishonorable deaths of anyone following Jeroboam. It was a big deal to be buried properly in the ancient world (it still is today), so to be eaten by dogs and birds is one of the worst things that could happen to your corpse.
1 Kings 15a — This begins a cycle that we’ll see throughout the rest of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. One king is wicked and does abominable things. They’re son comes along and tries to clean it up. So on and so forth. We see repeatedly that even when kings rise up and try to do right in destroying idols, they leave the high places, and Israel/Judah eventually turn back to idolatry. Destroying the idols is good, but it’s really only cutting back the branches when the problem is at the root.