INSTRUCTIONS OF GOD (THE MESSAGE OF THE MAN OF GOD)
1 And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord , and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
2 Then he (the man of God) cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord , and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.’ ”
3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the Lord has spoken: Surely the altar shall split apart, and the ashes on it shall be poured out.”
4 So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Arrest him!” Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself.
5 The altar also was split apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord .
6 Then the king answered and said to the man of God, “Please entreat the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God entreated the Lord , and the king’s hand was restored to him, and became as before.
7 Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”
8 But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place.
9 For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord , saying, ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’ ”
10 So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.
INSTRUCTIONS OF MEN IN CONTRAST TO THE INSTRUCTIONS OF GOD (THE DEATH OF THE MAN OF GOD)
11 Now an old prophet dwelt in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; they also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king.
12 And their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” For his sons had seen which way the man of God went who came from Judah.
13 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it,
14 and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. Then he said to him, “ Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am. ”
15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”
16 And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place.
17 For I have been told by the word of the Lord , ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’ ”
18 He (the old prophet) said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord , saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” (HE WAS LYING TO HIM .)
19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.
CONSEQUENCES OF DISOBEDIENCE
20 Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back (the old prophet) ;
21 and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord : ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you,
22 but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the Lord said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’ ”
23 So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back.
24 When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse.
25 And there, men passed by and saw the corpse thrown on the road, and the lion standing by the corpse. Then they went and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
26 Now when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the Lord. Therefore the Lord has delivered him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.”
The full story can be found in the book of I Kings 13
LESSONS FROM THIS STORY
1. Sometimes we are given messages, with strict instructions. We are suppose to deliver the message of God diligently and keep the instructions to ourselves. The man of God did well from verse 1 to verse 8. If he did not open himself up as he did in verses 9, 16 and 17, his downfall wouldn't come the way it came
2. Even His instructions seems unpalatable and a sweet message is coming, Always feel free to make inquiries from the Lord, especially when you hear a message contrary to the instructions He gave you. It's a way of showing total commitment to God and to show Him you will not do anything contrary to His will.
Jesus told the disciples to "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15 NKJV.
The apostles further warned us thus "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." I John 4:1 NKJV
3. The devil's craft and power are great, He's always looking for who to devour. He makes us feel stupid after luring us to temptation. The same old prophet whom the devil used to confused the younger prophet was the instrument used by God to proclaim the destruction of the disobedient prophet.
I can imagine the look on the disobedient prophet's face in verses 20-22.... So sad
4. God is a merciful God, He loves us, He rejoices in the repentance of a sinner. He is swift to hear our prayers and he's slow to anger. No matter how deep your sin is, God is able to forgive us.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord , “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 NKJV
I believe if the young prophet has cried out to God for forgiveness and for mercy, He would have pardoned him.
Our Father who art in Heaven, we humble ourselves before you this day to seek your Holy face, we pray this hour that:
- You will strengthen us from above not to fall into Satan's temptations
- You will teach us to keep your instructions dearly
- You will give us the ability to test every spirit before we take actions
- whenever our weary footstep slide and we fall into temptations when we call upon you for mercy, please hear us and have mercy upon us dear Lord.
In Jesus mighty name we pray
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God bless you and have a nice day