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Lesson from a Lion: A Fresh Look at First Kings 13

A number of years ago at a Baptist church I once attended, a self-proclaimed prophetess announced to me that I was not supposed to marry my future wife. She stated emphatically, “This is not the Lord’s will.” I countered by saying that the elders were in agreement about the Lord’s blessing on our marriage and that I would proceed. She became very angry because she did not respect church authority. The New Testament prophetic office is subject to the elders of a local church.

God’s Grace

Whether it is a fast growing Emerging Church or a contemporary Third-Wave Charismatic fellowship, people attend who think themselves the prophetic voice for the age. They have an independent spirit; they are subject to no one, and cause pain and confusion to young believers. In 1 Kings 13, we see that actions are more important than words, character more than self-assertion. We must look to Jesus for grace to obey his every command (young prophet) and to maintain fire and zeal for the Lord in a time of spiritual apostasy (old prophet). Grace is Jesus being the desire, ability, and power in me to respond to every life situation according to the will of God ( 2 Corinthians 9:8 ). Grace is God’s heart extending itself towards me in the midst of my weaknesses, failures, and inadequacies. Grace is the ability to see that Christ is bigger than all my incompetence. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly” ( Titus 2:11-12 ).


In conclusion, we have seen that 1 Kings 13 is difficult to exegete, but is still relevant for us. In this postmodern age, the issues of authenticity, obedience, and intimacy with God are just as important now as they were in ancient Israel.



1. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 361.

2. NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 507.

3. Richard D. Patterson, 1 Kings, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary [CD-ROM], ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998).

4. Ibid.


This article first appeared on the Pneuma Foundation resources website on April 21, 2006. The Pneuma Foundation is the parent organization of

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Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 2017

About the Author: Glenn E. Davis is a Canon Theologian of the Southeast Archdiocese of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. He is a graduate of Beeson Divinity School and pastor at Lamb of God CEC. He blogs at Twitter @canonglenn

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