1 Kings 12:20-13:34; Acts 9:26-43; Psalm 132:1-18; Proverbs 17:6
Two Prophets, One Word, One Lie, and a Lesson
Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.
Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: for it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: and he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. – 1 Kings 13:11-24
God was not pleased that king Jeroboam led Israel into idolatry. He sent a prophet to curse the altar Jeroboam built. The king heard the curse, pointed at the prophet, and demanded that he be seized. The king’s hand froze, and the altar split. The king had the prophet pray, and God restored the king’s hand. The king then invited the prophet to dine at the palace, promising a reward.
But the prophet refused and said, “Even If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: for so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way thou camest.”
Another prophet heard of this and set out to find this prophet who cursed the altar. When the old prophet located him, he invited this traveling prophet to come back, rest, and eat at his home. The traveling prophet said he couldn’t and told him what the Lord had instructed.
The old prophet replied, “I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.”
Then that Bible verse (1 Kings 13:18) ends with these words – But he lied unto him.
The traveling prophet fell for it and went back, ate, and drank. He disobeyed three direct instructions given to him by the Lord. That decision cost him his life as a lion killed him once he left the old prophet’s home.
There is a valuable lesson in this passage.
The traveling prophet had almost completed the assignment given to him by the Lord. He had obeyed precisely what he heard from God. Then an old prophet came along, claiming God-given instructions that contradicted what God had said directly to him. Those instructions were a lie, and he ended up disobeying God by heeding them. Had the traveling prophet obeyed what God had told him and not what someone else claimed God had said, the story would have ended differently.
The same is true for our own lives. Counsel and community are essential, and they can offer direction, clarity, and confirmation. But the words and thoughts of others cannot replace intimacy with and direct instruction from God. When we have heard from God, we are to take those words and obey them. If someone contradicts His instructions by saying, “God told me to tell you . . . ” even if it seems well-meaning, we still must abide by God’s original Word to us. Otherwise, we may find ourselves face-to-face with a lion, as this prophet did.
While God does use people to speak into our lives, God wants you to know His will for you more than He wants others to know it. He wants a personal and intimate relationship with you, with you abiding in Him. And He wants you to have confidence in that relationship, so you have confidence in His Word. He wants YOU to have confidence in HIM!!!
Then Had the Churches Rest
And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. – Acts 9:26-31
The Lord Hath Chosen Zion
For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish. – Psalm 132:13-18
The Crown of Old Men
Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. – Proverbs 17:6