13. OUR SINS WILL OFTEN DESTROY MORE THAN JUST OURSELVES.
I Kings 13:33,34 - "After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth."
Jeroboam's wickedness would not only destroy his family but also the nation of Israel. Often the destruction that results from sin reaches far beyond the sinner himself (cf. I Cor. 5:6).
14. NO MATTER HOW YOU TRY TO FOOL MEN, YOU CAN'T FOOL GOD.
I Kings 14:2,6 - "And Jeroboam said to his wife, 'Please arise, and disguise yourself, that they may not recognize you as the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Indeed, Ahijah the prophet is there, who told me that I would be king over this people'...And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, 'Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person? For I have been sent to you with bad news.'"
The best disguise in the world will still not fool God! God does not focus on or get distracted by the physical; He knows and judges the heart and is therefore never deceived (cf. John 2:24,25).
15. IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A HEART LOYAL TO GOD, EVEN WITH SOME DEGREE OF DISOBEDIENCE.
I Kings 15:14 - "But the high places were not removed. Nevertheless Asa's heart was loyal to the Lord all his days."
This point is significant in my mind. Many of the kings who were considered "good" by God were flawed when it came to tolerating the "high places" of worship. I understand that these were places where Israelites would worship on their own, offering sacrifices to God but not at the prescribed place--the temple in Jerusalem. Don't misunderstand my point here. I'm not advocating disobeying God to any degree, but I am noting that God was gracious with those who were loyal but not perfect in their understanding and obedience (cf. Acts 17:30,31).
16. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE FAITHFUL TO GOD DOESN'T MEAN EVERYONE WILL RESPECT YOU.
I Kings 18:17 - "Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, 'Is that you, O troubler of Israel?'"
It would be nice if faithfulness to God was a respected quality in society, but many times one who is faithful to God will be viewed as a troublemaker of some sort. Elijah wasn't the problem; Ahab's and Israel's wickedness was (cf. John 15:18-20)!
17. ONE PRAYER TO GOD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ANY PETITIONING OF AN IDOL.
I Kings 18:26-29,37-39:
"So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, 'O Baal, hear us!' But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made. And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, 'Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.' So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention...'Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.' Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, 'The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!'"
Elijah's singular prayer was heard and answered powerfully! The prophets of Baal--in calling out to a made-up god--wasted their time, energy, breath, and blood. The LORD, He is God, and may we pray to Him accordingly (cf. Matt. 7:7-11).