A False Word of the Lord?

April 12, 2018 at 12:07 PM Leave a comment

In 1 Kings 13, we are privy to a situation that occurred between one prophet and another prophet. The overall subject of that chapter is Jeroboam’s apostasy and rebellion against the Lord. But an interesting sub-point is found within the events between the two prophets.

While King Jeroboam was offering incense – not to Jehovah God but to other gods – which a king could not do even if he were to offer it to Jehovah God. God sent a prophet from Judah to him to announce what God intended to do. The prophet foretells of what is going to befall Jeroboam and the king reacts unkindly and it is interesting here that the prophet essentially speaks to the altar itself, not directly to the king. It’s almost as if God had already cast off Jerobaom and didn’t want to speak to him directly.

By the way, it is also interesting that this particular prophet spoke of Josiah be name and this was nearly 300 years before Josiah actually came onto the scene. God’s intentions, clarity, and sovereignty are always on display in Scripture.

And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. (1 Kings 13:5 ESV)

The king did not like what he heard so he wanted to silence the prophet. Sounds a lot like how the Left works to overthrow conservatism within society, doesn’t it? Jeroboam as king was inclined to take it upon himself to prove the prophet wrong. How dare this prophet speak against the Lord’s anointed. But of course, while God had anointed Jeroboam as king, God had not anointed him to forsake God’s ways and lead Israel into sin. Because of this, God sent the prophet as warning. Should Jeroboam repent honestly and turn from his wicked ways, things would likely have turned out differently. Instead, Jeroboam dug his heels in and refused to heed the prophet’s warning. In essence, Jeroboam used his power as king to attempt to overrule the prophet, but he failed as seen in the above text.

Of course, after his hand “dried up” (withered and shrunk to a stump), Jeroboam became alarmed and, like a petulant child who is caught with hand in cookie jar, wanted a way out. He then cries to the prophet to pray to God on his behalf so that his hand would become normal again (v. 6). The prophet does so and the king’s hand is restored (also v. 6). Also note that Jeroboam refers to God as “the Lord your God” (emphasis added), not his own God. It’s also probably why the king did not feel he could go to God directly because he admitted through this verbiage that he had no real relationship with God.

But now, happy now that things are back to normal, King Jeroboam tries to wine and dine the prophet but the prophet has been forewarned by God Himself to not go to the king’s house or eat and drink anything the king would set before him (vv. 7 – 9). The prophet leaves the king’s presence, but King Jeroboam is not done yet.

It was good and brave what the prophet had done. He was called by God for a specific task and he fulfilled that task. He clearly understood what his orders and the parameters were in that particular calling as he was able to specifically tell the king what he could and could not do as allowed or disallowed by God.

However, we then get to verses 11 – 32 of 1 Kings 13 and we see there was at least one problem with the old prophet that was introduced here verses the other prophet who went to King Jeroboam and spoke to the altar in the first few verses. It appears this second older prophet was a bit of a compromiser. Starting in these verses, we see how he thought.

It is clear from verse 15 that this older prophet attempted to turn the younger/first prophet away from God and what God had specifically told him to do. The old prophet finds the younger/first prophet and invites him home to eat with him. The first prophet responds to the request by the older prophet in verses 16 – 17.

I may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place, for it was said to me by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.’

So far, so good. The first prophet repeated the exact instructions given to him by God Himself. He was attempting to be faithful to his particular mission. Unfortunately, the old prophet did something that was unexpected by the first prophet. He lied to him saying that God had spoken to him as well while he had been in prayer and God had said to him that the first prophet should go with him. The text clearly tells us the older prophet lied to the first prophet (v. 18b), however, since it sounded reasonable, the first prophet went with the older prophet…and ultimately to his own death.

Sadly, starting in verse 20, we learn that the older prophet did receive revelations from God on occasion and he was about to receive another one.

And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord and have not kept the command that the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’” 23 And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. (1 Kings 3:21-23 ESV)

So here’s this older prophet who lies to the first prophet, enticing him to go with him even though he knew what God had told that first prophet. In some ways, it doesn’t make sense that God would so clearly and swiftly judge the first prophet, yet God was not as swift judging the older prophet who lied to the first prophet. But God was testing the first prophet’s mettle to see if this was someone God could count on to do all of His will all the time. Unfortunately, the first prophet failed the test and he met his death because of it, as we read in verses 24-25.

Like Rehoboam (12:13) and Jeroboam (12:28), the younger man listened to bad counsel rather than obeying a direct word from the Lord. [1]

By the way, lions existed in the Palestine area until roughly the 13th century, so it is not unheard of that people and other animals were killed by marauding lions. However, this one was specifically sent by God as judgment against the first prophet.

What I find fascinating here is that this ties in with the concept of people – Christians – who might come to another Christian and say that they have a “word” of knowledge for them, or that God spoke to them about the person they are trying to connect with. We need to be extremely careful when people come up to us and make those qualifying statements. Has it ever happened to you? What is your reaction to this? Do you feel an obligation to obey because it appears as though God Himself must have pushed them to come to you or why else would they have come in the first place?

The truth is that this older prophet did receive words from the Lord at times. He also lied at times. One must ask, if God was able to speak to the first prophet very clearly, telling him not only what to do say to the altar in front of Jeroboam, then why would God have to go through another person to tell the first prophet something new? It makes absolutely no sense and because of it, the first prophet began to doubt what he had heard from God.

This is reminiscent of course of the Garden of Eden and how Satan twisted God’s literal Word to them about what they could and could not eat, until Eve began to question it? “Yeah, why can’t I eat from that tree? It looks good, smells good, and I bet it tastes good too! Since it appears to be good, I must’ve gotten it wrong. What’s the harm in eating?”

If you do not have a real, working, daily relationship with God in Christ, then chances are good that you will not have any real sense of His leading in your life. Moreover, you will become open to every wind of suggestion from anyone if what they’re saying sounds plausible.

The first prophet had been given God’s specific word for his situation. He knew where he was supposed to go, he knew what he was supposed to say and he knew what he was not supposed to do. He needed nothing more at all to be a successful prophet in that particular situation.

However, temptation came and caused the first prophet to second guess himself and what he thought he may have heard from God. Once doubt begins to creep in, we are usually powerless to stand against it.

When Jesus was tempted of Satan in Matthew 4, Satan used the same exact tactics against Jesus that he had used against Adam and Eve and everyone else. His goal is to make people doubt God’s Word. If he can do that, then people become their own highest authority in determining truth vs fiction.

The first prophet after hearing the older prophet, decided that what he now heard sounded reasonable, therefore it must have been from God. This unfortunately, was furthest from the truth and it cost him his life. His doubt moved him away from God so that he actually stopped being obedient and following God, to simply follow his own dictates of what he thought was this new “word” from God. Turns out, it was all a lie. The first prophet essentially stopped believing God previously received. That amounts to worshiping false idols or spiritual idolatry.

Folks, the more we know God’s Word, the less we have to rely on other people. If we are unclear about something, it is always good to seek wise counsel from others (the operative word being “wise”). But even here, it does not mean that we automatically do what they might suggest. We mull it over, we pray about it, we continue to seek directly from God’s Word in that matter.

I’m talking about people who simply come up to you out of nowhere and announce that they have a “word” from God for you. Most people are enamored about that. It makes them feel special that God appears to be going out of His way to get our attention. Ask yourself why God has to do this? Is it necessary?

I wrote a multi-part series not too long ago on God’s Will. I would encourage you to read over that series and even buy the book recommended by Dr. Bruce Waltke. It’s completely biblically based and helps clear away the cobwebs for those who think that learning or “finding” God’s will is something that God actually wants to keep hidden from us. It’s not. God wants us to know and fulfill His will for our lives. While He certainly may choose to bring someone specific into our lives at the right moment for a specific purpose, God is not dependent on that and moreover, we would do well to remember that Satan can also counterfeit that as well, to our detriment.

The more you read and study God’s Word, the better you will grasp God’s will for you. Depend upon God and His Word as your main starting place to determine God’s will. He will always start there and will never guide you in a way that countermands His will as revealed in His Word.

 

[1] Constable, Notes on 1 Kings, p. 60

 

 

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism. Tags: , , , .

Whistleblowers Are Always Generally Despised by the Guilty Prophets Without Honor

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