If you didn’t catch the last two weeks of this, please go back and read them. This is a continuation and conclusion.
We’ve been discussing an obscure little story found in 1 Kings 13.
God instructed the true prophet to enter the idol-infested city of Bethel and warn King Jeroboam of his sin. God told the true prophet not to eat or drink while there and to return a different way than he’d come.
An old prophet who lived in Bethel invited the true prophet to come home and eat with him. “Oh no, I can’t do that,” the true prophet explained. “God has given me specific instructions.”
But the old prophet convinced him it was OK.
So the true prophet went.
During dinner, however, the old prophet said, “This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command He gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where He told you not to eat or drink. Therefore you’re going to die far from home.”
We can learn several things from this story through the red flags that are given.
First Red Flag:
• The true prophet of God stopped to rest under a tree (1 Kings 13:14). When researching this passage, I discovered that the Hebrew language reveals that he wasn’t simply sitting under a tree. He had built a temporary home. He knew to flee—and to flee immediately—but he didn’t. He rationalized it would be OK to rest a while.
• Second Red Flag:
The old prophet deceived this young prophet. When the old prophet said, “God spoke to me through an angel,” the young prophet accepted it as God’s word and went with him.
But God has already specifically spoken to the young prophet. So when does the voice of an angel trump the voice of God Himself?
• Third Red Flag:
The old prophet was living in Bethel. This tells us a lot!
The fact that he had chosen to live in the forbidden city of idols shows us he wasn’t living in God’s will.
The young prophet was killed by a lion when he left the old prophet’s home. The young prophet tried to get back to where he should be, but he would never get home again. His ministry was over, and in fact, his walk with God in this world had come to an end. That seems pretty harsh to us, but remember, God isn’t playing games. Though He is long-suffering, there will come a point when He will no longer tolerate sin and disobedience.
The young prophet of God was very sincere, but he made the mistake of believing the wrong message which he was told was from God. But it wasn’t. He knew for a fact what God had told him—he didn’t know for a fact what God had told the old prophet.
We must be guarded and stick like glue to the message of the Bible. Don’t let anyone or anything draw you away—even someone you deeply love. If you do get drawn away, you’ll be deceived and deception can be deadly.
The young prophet of God was a good man who was deceived into disobedience. We don’t need to look for external voices and supernatural encounters with audible voices. We just need to know God’s Word. That’s how Jesus rebuked and refuted the devil during His temptation in the wilderness. Without being anchored on the Word of God, we’ll easily be deceived.
You are battling for eternity.
Be very guarded and test everything.
The Word of God doesn’t change.
Man may alter it,
lie about it,
and add to it,
but God’s Word will endure forever.
So . . . how well do you know God’s Word?
Do you read the Bible consistently?
I’d love to hear from you!