Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 13:1–34, Mark 8:11–9:1, Prov 3:13–22
Today’s Theme: The Danger of Unbelief
Today’s theme looks at the great danger of unbelief and disobedience. This pitfall saw the tragic death of the young prophet and Jesus has to take a man out of the place of unbelief to heal him and warn him to not return.
We must believe God’s word, with our minds set on Him which is the pathway to wisdom, understanding and the resulting riches and long life (which is fully expressed in eternal life).
1 Kings 13:1–34
And the man 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 he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’ ” (1 Kings 13:2, ESV)
This is an amazing prophecy because this is what actually happened.
Reprobation and Apostasy
And the king said to the man of God, “Entreat now the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” And the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before. (1 Kings 13:6, ESV)
Jeroboam is a true apostate, notice he says ask your God not our God, he is truly on the other side. What deception because he also knows that the false gods can not help him.
Gods word trumps visions
for it was said to me by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.’ ” (1 Kings 13:17, ESV)
The Word of God trumps any supernatural encounter. We can trust the word of God more than dreams, angels and visions.
The sin of disobedience
So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water. (1 Kings 13:19, ESV)
This is a very important verse, it is here that the young prophet disobeys God and displays a type of unbelief.
And he went and found his body thrown in the road, and the donkey and the lion standing beside the body. The lion had not eaten the body or torn the donkey. (1 Kings 13:28, ESV)
A sign that this was direct judgement.
Disobedience weakens the message
After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places. (1 Kings 13:33, ESV)
Maybe if the man of God was obedient to the word of the Lord the message and signs would have had a greater impact.
The weakest type of faith
And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” (Mark 8:12, ESV)
Those seeking a sign have a type of unbelief at worst and very weak faith at best. We were called to preach the gospel, not to put on a circus.
Beware false ideologies
And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15, ESV)
Jesus wants us to beware of being sucked in by false ideologies whether political or religious.
Don’t live in unbelief
And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” (Mark 8:23, ESV)
As Pastor Dennis has always taught us, Jesus had to lead the man out of the place of unbelief.
Don’t go back to a place of unbelief
And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” (Mark 8:26, ESV)
Do not go back to the place of unbelief.
Who is Jesus?
And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” (Mark 8:29, ESV)
This is a crucial question for all mankind. The scriptures are clear, Jesus is the Messiah, God the Son incarnate, the one and only God-Man.
Set your mind on the things of God
But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Mark 8:33, ESV)
We must keep our minds set on things above, the eternal things of God’s kingdom, not the temporal things of this life.
The call to discipleship
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34, ESV)
This is the call to discipleship, we need to deny ourselves, acknowledge and take up our burden and set about following Jesus. The easy Christian life is not in the Bible.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36, ESV)
The answer to this question is nothing.
What will you exchange
For what can a man give in return for his soul? (Mark 8:37, ESV)
Mankind has given many things in exchange for his soul, these include: honour amongst men, riches, comfort, pleasure.
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38, ESV)
We must be bold in our stand for Jesus
Wisdom, more valuable than money
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. (Proverbs 3:14, ESV)
Wisdom and understanding are better profit for our lives than money.
Understanding is precious
She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:15, ESV)
Wisdom and understanding are precious, we should hold them dear.
The path to prosperity
Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. (Proverbs 3:16, ESV)
Wisdom will bring long life and riches, so get wisdom and riches and health will come in some way too and are clearly gained through the promise of eternal life in the world to come.
God’s scientific brilliance
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; (Proverbs 3:19, ESV)
When God created the earth He did it with scientific brilliance which is why true science will cause men to glorify God.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 8