Introduction: One of the goals of my life is to improve my
“hearing” when God speaks to me. I’ll bet that you know
what I’m talking about: you have a sense that you should do
something or not do something. You think it comes from God,
but you are not sure. Is God impressing you through His
Holy Spirit? Is it your conscience speaking – which comes
from the training your parents gave you? Is it one of
Satan’s fallen angels trying to embarrass you? Is it
indigestion? The older I get and the longer I walk with God
the better I get at paying attention – but I’m still not
very good. From time to time readers write and tell me I’m
terrible at listening to God’s will! How much should we
trust advisors? On who or what can we trust? Let’s dive
right into our study of the Bible and learn more about the
right foundation for knowing God’s will!

  1. Taxation

    1. King Solomon dies, and his son Rehoboam becomes
      King. Let’s find out what is on the mind of King
      Rehoboam’s subjects. Read 1 Kings 12:4-5. What
      concern do the people have? (The level of

      1. What do you think about the king’s response?
        (He is showing wisdom by not immediately
        answering. He plans to seek counsel.)

    2. Read 1 Kings 12:6-7. What advice do the old guys
      give? (Lower taxes.)

    3. King Rehoboam next turns to his young friends for
      advice. Read 1 Kings 12:9-11. What advice do the
      young guys give him?(Assert your authority – more

      1. Which advice would you accept? What is the
        appeal of each of the options?

    4. Read 1 Kings 12:12-14. Is King Rehoboam following
      the will of God? (Read 1 Kings 12:15-17. It turns
      out that God wanted a divided kingdom with
      Jeroboam being the King of the ten tribes of

      1. If you were a counselor, wanting to give
        Godly advice to King Rehoboam, how would you
        know what to advise?

    5. Read 1 Kings 12:21-24. What rule do these two
      situations suggest about how we should listen to
      God? (Sometimes God does not give us specific
      advice on what to do. We need to look at the
      advice given in the Bible and use our common
      sense. On the other hand, sometimes God does
      directly speak to us on an issue. Rehoboam, to his
      credit, followed God’s direct advice.)

  2. Calves

    1. In the meantime, the low-tax ten tribes of Israel
      have made King Jeroboam their king. Read 1 Kings
      12:26-27. What problem does the king have which
      could benefit from some advice?

    2. Read 1 Kings 12:28-29. What do you think of the
      advice given to King Jeroboam? (Read Exodus 20:2-5
      and Exodus 32:7-8. This is not a close call.
      Jeroboam should not have resorted to idolatry to
      solve his political problem.)

      1. Let’s add another bit of information. Read
        1 Kings 11:29-33. Knowing this, how would you
        advise King Jeroboam about his fears? (He had
        direct assurance from God through a prophet
        who had been right so far. Notice the reason
        why Jeroboam is being given most of the
        kingdom. That is a powerful reason not to
        turn to idolatry to solve the current worry.)

  3. The Man of God, Lying and the Lion

    1. Read 1 Kings 13:1-2. Does God have a message for
      King Jeroboam? Or, is this a political message
      from a political rival? (Not only does the man
      come from Judah (the other nation), but he says
      that a descendant of David (the other king’s
      grandfather) will rule Israel.)

    2. Read 1 Kings 13:3-5. What evidence does Jeroboam
      have that this is from God? (The signs.)

    3. Read 1 Kings 13:6. Does King Jeroboam believe that
      the man is from God? (Yes, he does not think it is
      from a political rival.)

      1. Think about this. Would this be the point on
        which you would ask intercession if you were
        King Jeroboam? (Something much more important
        than the King’s hand is at stake. The whole
        kingdom and the alternative way of worship
        are at stake.)

    4. Read 1 Kings 13:7-10. What procedural instructions
      has God given the man of God?

      1. What do you think about the man of God? (He
        is courageous, obedient and he cannot be
        bribed. He obviously is in tune with God
        because he is able to have the king’s hand

    5. Read 1 Kings 13:11-14. What do you think motivates
      the old prophet to ride after the man of God?

      1. Is the man of God still following directions?
        (Nothing in the instructions said he could
        not rest. However, it seems that a quick
        retreat to Judah is what God had in mind.
        But, the man of God has had a very high
        tension day so far. I would need a rest –
        just to stop my hands from trembling.)

    6. Read 1 Kings 13:15-17. They sure make a lot of
      dinner invitations in Israel! Is the man of God
      still faithful?

    7. Read 1 Kings 13:18-19. Would you fault the man of
      God? (Remember that twice he has been given an
      invitation, and twice he has turned it down. He
      changes his mind now only because he is told that
      God changed the instructions.)

      1. Do prophets of God lie? (Apparently. The
        Bible calls the old fellow a prophet. Lying,
        however, is an attribute of Satan.)

      2. Why do you think the old prophet lied?

      3. Recall that we started our lesson with a
        discussion on how to listen to God’s messages
        to us. What do you do when you realize that a
        prophet is willing to lie?

    8. Read 1 Kings 13:20-22. I ask you again, is the old
      prophet a true prophet of God? (God is speaking
      through him and making a prophecy! We will see if
      this prophecy comes true.)

      1. Review for a minute the courage and obedience
        of the man of God in confronting King
        Jeroboam. How can God say that he “defied”
        God’s instructions? The word translated
        “defied,” could also be translated
        “rebelled.” This is a strong word!

    9. Read 1 Kings 13:23-28. What are the odds of being
      killed by a lion without being eaten?

      1. What are the odds of being killed by a lion
        when a big fat donkey is standing around?

      2. What can we reasonably deduce from these
        facts? (In accordance with God’s word of
        prophecy to the old prophet, God sent a lion
        to kill the man of God.)

      3. Read 1 Peter 5:8. Is this a current problem
        for us?

    10. How important is it to listen to the right message
      from God?

      1. Should we believe our pastor?

      2. Should you believe me?

      3. Should you believe a prophet?

        1. If you said, “no,” to the above
          questions, who or what should you
          believe? (Did you ever wonder why each
          discussion in these lessons is begun by
          a reading from the Bible? We start out
          with God’s word. Everything has to be
          tested against God’s word. Do you think
          God is impressing you to do something?
          Test it against God’s word.)

      4. The man of God performed brilliantly and
        courageously for most of the day. What lesson
        do we find in that? (No matter what you have
        done to advance the Kingdom of God, you must
        never let down your guard. One lapse can ruin
        your life.)

    11. Read 1 Kings 13:29-32. What level of confidence
      does the old prophet have in the man of God? (He
      is certain his predictions will come true.)

      1. What should we learn from the old prophet and
        the man of God? (Neither were perfect. But,
        both spoke accurately (at least some of the
        time) for God.)

    12. Read 2 Kings 23:15-19. What happens 300 years
      later? (The words of the man of God and the old
      prophet come true.)

    13. Friend, our lesson shows that even people who God
      uses will sometimes lie. Will you determine today,
      when trying to listen to God and follow Him, to
      believe nothing that cannot be supported by the
      Bible, the word of God?

  4. Next week: The Widow of Zarephath: The Leap of Faith.