1 Kings 12:20-13:34
20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent for him. They called him to the assembly and crowned him king of all Israel.
Nothing was left to the house of David except the tribe of Judah. 21 When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he assembled the whole house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—one hundred eighty thousand select warriors—to fight against the house of Israel and restore the kingdom for Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. 22 But God’s word came to Shemaiah the man of God, 23 “Tell Judah’s King Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, and all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Don’t make war against your relatives the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, because this is my plan.’” When they heard the Lord’s words, they went back home, just as the Lord had said.
Jeroboam I and the shrines
25 Jeroboam fortified Shechem at Mount Ephraim and lived there. From there he also fortified Penuel. 26 Jeroboam thought to himself, The kingdom is in danger of reverting to the house of David. 27 If these people continue to sacrifice at the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, they will again become loyal to their master Rehoboam, Judah’s king, and they will kill me so they can return to Judah’s King Rehoboam. 28 So the king asked for advice and then made two gold calves. He said to the people, “It’s too far for you to go all the way up to Jerusalem. Look, Israel! Here are your gods who brought you out from the land of Egypt.” 29 He put one calf in Bethel, and the other he placed in Dan. 30 This act was sinful. The people went to worship before the one calf at Bethel and before the other one as far as Dan.[a] 31 Jeroboam made shrines on the high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, but none were Levites. 32 Jeroboam set a date for a celebration on the fifteenth day of the eighth month.[b] It was just like the celebration in Judah. He sacrificed on the altar. At Bethel he sacrificed to the calves he had made. There also he installed the priests for the shrines he had made. 33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month—the time he alone had decided—Jeroboam went up[c] to the altar he had built in Bethel. He made a celebration for the Israelites and offered sacrifices on the altar by burning them up.[d]
Jeroboam I and the man of God
13 A man of God came from Judah by God’s command to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing at the altar burning incense. 2 By the Lord’s word, the man of God cried out to the altar: “Altar! Altar! The Lord says this: Look! A son will be born to the house of David. His name will be Josiah. He will sacrifice on you, Altar, the very priests of the shrines who offer incense on you. They will burn human bones on you.” 3 At that time the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign that the Lord mentioned: ‘Look! The altar will be broken apart, and its ashes will spill out.’”
4 When the king heard the word of the man of God and how he cried out to the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand that Jeroboam stretched out against the man of God grew stiff. Jeroboam wasn’t able to bend it back to himself. 5 The altar broke apart, and the ashes spilled out from the altar, just like the sign that the man of God gave by the Lord’s word. 6 The king said to the man of God, “Plead before the Lord your God and pray for me so that I can bend my hand back again.” So the man of God pleaded before the Lord, and the king’s hand returned to normal and was like it used to be. 7 The king spoke to the man of God: “Come with me to the palace and refresh yourself. Let me give you a gift.”
8 The man of God said to the king, “Even if you gave me half your palace, I wouldn’t go with you, nor would I eat food or drink water in this place. 9 This is what God commanded me by the Lord’s word: Don’t eat food! Don’t drink water! Don’t return by the way you came!”
10 So the man of God went by a different way. He didn’t return by the way he came to Bethel. 11 Now there was an old prophet living in Bethel. His sons came and told him everything that the man of God had done that day at Bethel. They also told their father the words that he spoke to the king. 12 “Which way did he go?” their father asked them. His sons had seen the way the man of God went when he came from Judah. 13 The old prophet said to his sons, “Saddle my donkey.” So they saddled his donkey, and he got on it. 14 He went after the man of God and found him sitting underneath a terebinth tree. He said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”
“I am,” he replied.
15 The old prophet then said to him, “Come home with me and eat some food.”
16 But the man of God answered, “I can’t return or go with you, and I can’t eat food or drink water with you in this place 17 because of the message that came to me from the Lord’s word: Don’t eat food! Don’t drink water! Don’t return by the way you came!”
18 The old prophet said to the man of God, “I’m also a prophet like you. A messenger spoke to me with the Lord’s word, ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat food and drink water.’”
But the old prophet was lying to him. 19 So the man of God went back with the old prophet. He ate food in his home and drank water. 20 Then as they were sitting at the table, the Lord’s word came to the prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah:
“The Lord says this:
You rebelled against the Lord’s word!
You didn’t keep the command that the Lord your God gave you!
22 You came back and ate food and drank water in this place.
“But he had commanded you: ‘Don’t eat food! Don’t drink water!’ Now your body won’t go to the grave of your ancestors.”
23 After he ate food and drank, the old prophet saddled the donkey for the prophet he had brought back. 24 The man of God departed, and a lion found him on the road and killed him. His body was thrown down on the road. The donkey stood beside it, and the lion also stood beside the body. 25 Some people were traveling nearby, and they discovered the body thrown down on the road and the lion standing beside it. They entered the town where the old prophet lived and were talking about it. 26 The prophet who brought the man of God back from the road overheard. He thought: That’s the man of God who rebelled against the Lord’s command. The Lord has given him to that lion that tore him apart, killing him in agreement with the Lord’s word that was spoken to him.
27 The old prophet told his sons, “Saddle the donkey.” They did so, 28 and he went and found the body thrown down on the road. The donkey and the lion were still standing beside the body. The lion hadn’t eaten the body, nor had it torn the donkey apart. 29 The prophet lifted the body of the man of God and put it on the donkey. He brought it back, arriving in the old prophet’s town to mourn and bury the man of God. 30 He placed the body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, “Oh, my brother!” 31 After the old prophet buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is. Put my bones beside his bones. 32 The message he gave by the Lord’s word concerning the altar of Bethel and all the shrines in the towns of Samaria will most certainly come true.”
33 Even after this happened, Jeroboam didn’t change his evil ways. Instead, he continued to appoint all sorts of people as priests of the shrines. Anyone who wanted to be a priest Jeroboam made a priest for the shrines. 34 In this way the house of Jeroboam acted sinfully, leading to its downfall and elimination from the earth.
26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t believe he was really a disciple. 27 Then Barnabas brought Saul to the apostles and told them the story about how Saul saw the Lord on the way and that the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them about the confidence with which Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 After this, Saul moved freely among the disciples in Jerusalem and was speaking with confidence in the name of the Lord. 29 He got into debates with the Greek-speaking Jews as well, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the family of believers learned about this, they escorted him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. God strengthened the church, and its life was marked by reverence for the Lord. Encouraged by the Holy Spirit, the church continued to grow in numbers.
Peter heals and raises the dead
32 As Peter toured the whole region, he went to visit God’s holy people in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed and had been confined to his bed for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up and make your bed.” At once he got up. 35 Everyone who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas). Her life overflowed with good works and compassionate acts on behalf of those in need. 37 About that time, though, she became so ill that she died. After they washed her body, they laid her in an upstairs room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two people to Peter. They urged, “Please come right away!” 39 Peter went with them. Upon his arrival, he was taken to the upstairs room. All the widows stood beside him, crying as they showed the tunics and other clothing Dorcas made when she was alive.
40 Peter sent everyone out of the room, then knelt and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and raised her up. Then he called God’s holy people, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42 The news spread throughout Joppa, and many put their faith in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed for some time in Joppa with a certain tanner named Simon.
A pilgrimage song.
132 Lord, remember David—
all the ways he suffered
2 and how he swore to the Lord,
how he promised the strong one of Jacob:
3 “I won’t enter my house,
won’t get into my bed.
4 I won’t let my eyes close,
won’t let my eyelids sleep,
5 until I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling place for the strong one of Jacob.”
6 Yes, we heard about it in Ephrathah;
we found it[a] in the fields of Jaar.
7 Let’s enter God’s dwelling place;
let’s worship at the place God rests his feet!
8 Get up, Lord, go to your residence—
you and your powerful covenant chest!
9 Let your priests be dressed in righteousness;
let your faithful shout out with joy!
10 And for the sake of your servant David,
do not reject your anointed one.
11 The Lord swore to David
a true promise that God won’t take back:
“I will put one of your own children on your throne.
12 And if your children keep my covenant
and the laws that I will teach them,
then their children too will rule on your throne forever.”
13 Because the Lord chose Zion;
he wanted it for his home.
14 “This is my residence forever.
I will live here because I wanted it for myself.[b]
15 I will most certainly bless its food supply;
I will fill its needy full of food!
16 I will dress its priests in salvation,
and its faithful will shout out loud with joy!
17 It is there that I will make David’s strength thrive.[c]
I will prepare a lamp for my anointed one there.
18 I will dress his enemies in shame,
but the crown he wears will shine.”
6 Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly,
and the glory of children is their parents.