Text: 1Kings 13:11-34
This passage is a most sobering lesson. A man of GOD was sent on an errand by God with strict instructions. He was able to deliver the message accurately. When Jeroboam enticed him with offers of reward he rejected it outrightly. It is very unfortunate what transpired later between him and the older prophet from Bethel. He was deceived and sen to untimely grave.
This old prophet got to know about the prophet from Judah through his sons. “…and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel…”(verse 11). When we begin to be successful in ministry, our fame will spread far and near, Many people may want to associate with us for good while some will come to quench our light. This old prophet showed his divided loyalty to God. He remained in Bethel when other priest had migrated to Judah.
The lesson is a caution against allegiance to any so called ‘man of God’ to the detriment of our personal relationship with God. God had given strict instructions to this young prophet. His mission to the kingdom of Israel was a crucial one. God didn’t want him to wine or dine in bethel because he had rejected Israel and everything in it. God’s judgement was already set upon it even though it would take some hundreds of years to manifest. Hence, the young prophet was not to contaminate himself with any of their dainties. He was to remain separate, set apart and holy unto God.
Many people who started well in this journey have missed it today. Even though their ministries seem to be flourishing, they are carrying curses and judgements of God upon them because of diverse disobedience. Sadly, some genuine children of God fall into the error of having them as their spiritual fathers. A man of God who could fabricate a lie what is he? He thought to entice the man to his house for his own selfish reasons.
Read Also: The heart is Deceitful
More important to note; the young prophet could resist the temptation of the unbelieving king Jeroboam, but easily fell prey to the old prophet’s lies because he let his guard down, probably, thinking “he is a colleague in the faith”. It is sad how we are able to resist the world and carefully stay away from unequal yoking but easily fall into sin with fellow believers. We need to be even more careful in the house of God. No man is infallible no matter the title they go by.
God’s judgement upon the young prophet was quick because judgement must begin from the altar. Let us beware. Many “thus says the lord” are flying up and down today but how true are they? Everything we need for godliness is written down in the bible. Through prayer and careful watching we will discern the truth and follow Holy spirit leading at every point.