1 Kings 13:1-26
The Man of God From Judah
13 By the word of the Lord a man of God came from Judah to Bethel,as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. 2 By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’” 3 That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”
4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. 5 Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.
6 Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.
7 The king said to the man of God, “Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.”
8 But the man of God answered the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. 9 For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’” 10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”
“I am,” he replied.
15 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.”
16 The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’”
18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.
20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lordyour God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”
23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.25 Some people who passed by saw the body lying there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who defied the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the Lord had warned him.” END OF THE BIBLE VERSES
SIMILAR THINGS LIKE THIS ONE HAPPEN TO US CHRISTIANS EVERY DAY & MOST OF THE TIME WE ARE NOT EVEN AWARE OF IT!
Few years ago when I was in the wilderness with God and I was in the process of losing everything, my life was so awful it felt as if I was carrying my heart at the bottom of my feet. Like an animal caged in with a horde of hunters as spectators poking into the cage, I felt trapped with nowhere to go. It seems like all God wanted from me was to watch the life I build over the years crumbling down piece by piece while powerless. Losing everything I built over the years was sad to the extreme, but there was something else that was killing me. How do you start building up back again a life time of accumulations when you are in your mid forties? Because of the work God was doing internally in my soul, it was important for things to happen slowly. So, the dismantling of my life was spread over almost into a three years affair.
A little bit over two years in the process, two of my friends from Church came to me with my back against the wall because they came so closed to me and one of them offered me a job. I was told, listen, I heard about your situation that you are loosing your house soon and my daughter is a high management position for such and such company. (I don’t want to say the company’s name here because it is well known internationally and extremely known throughout Norh America.) I was told because you are bilingual, if you need a job, its yours and it pays so much. Just say the word and I will contact my daughter.
First thing that came to mind was the fact that this job would solve one of the biggest part of my challenges. I thought, if I could at least saved my house, I would have salvage some stuff and my fall would be soften a bit. But, my heart was not right with this rationale. I suddenly became aware of how I was cornered with no place to go physically while those two Christians, right there in the Church were doing the work of Satan and they had no idea. Everything was set for me to fall and disobey God. Everything was unfolding with other Christians right there in the sanctuary…. It was so tempting, yet I had a fraction of the time to answer and both of those friends did not feel that it was something that I had to think twice about. Th person making the offer was expecting an answer and the other friend who knows me well expected me to jump of joy for the opportunity.
For a fraction of a second I said to myself, but how is it my deliverance would come this way, when first of all God talks to me so much about everything so why doing it this way? Why not giving me an indication prior to these people attempt to help me? Secondly, I am aware that He has started something inwardly in me and I was not under the impression that it was finished, but if I take this job, my problems will be solved and I would not longer be under His hands. Thirdly, at the beginning He somewhat told me that I would lose everything and I have to find a way to be okay with it to the point where my soul would be able to say with Peace…”it is well with my soul” and I remember how He wrestle with me to get there…So, what gives?”
By then, I was led by the spirit enough to know that He did not seem He was on board with me, even though He was very silent in this process. With all these unanswered questions I said to my two friends “well, because I have been working for the bank for so long, and I was terminated so badly, I do not have good references and without references, no one would hire me. Both of them told me not to worry about that, they could become my references and one of them was going to act as as my boss to give the references on paper for me, so the daughter would be covered.
My dear reader, right then and there, I knew that could not be of God’s doing because of that simple lie. You see, three years before that, I would not have a problem with it. But, I knew God now in a way that I did not know before and because He is the light and the light has nothing to do with darkness, this small lie was darkness. Satan has been lying to us since the beginning, hence Adam and Eve.
In my heart, I knew, even though these people were in a hurry to get an answer that Sunday morning, I also knew that I had to bring the matter before God, just in case He had other plans. I knew if it was His doing, because my heart did not want to do something that was not right in His sight, I had the confidence that He would make things right and perhaps these people would come back with their offers later once it was confirmed with God. So, I prayed and wanted God to say yes, He never confirmed anything to me nor that He said a word about it. So, I let the opportunity passed and of course within six months I loss everything. Much later God let me know that it was not of Him.
Here is my point. First, when Satan is using people to dupe us and walk away from God, there is always something that makes complete since to go the other way, and there is always some truth in it. This is also why so many are in the Church, yet their hearts are not with Him. My second point is that we do not have to wait for something gigantic as what happened to the good prophet and the bad one in verses 16 -19. We do not need to wait to hear God’s verdict right away like He did in verses 21-22. Nowadays, chances are God will allow you to continue your path. And, if you are not sensitive to His communication with you, in the new heart, and if you are not in tune with your conscience, you might never know that you have been drastically wrong vis a vis Him.
Strangely, God holds us responsible for allowing ourselves to be misled by other because He is right there available to all of us if we want to know the truth and walk in His ways.