1kings 13:16-17, “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.’”
While we talk about the old lying prophet, can God use a false prophet? Absolutely. Can a false prophet say true things biblically? absolutely. Does saying some good things make them true prophets? Absolutely NOT. From what I read, anytime God used a false prophet, it was NOT to bring blessings but to bring judgment.Here we see God use a false prophet to deliver a message of judgment to the man of God, vs. 20-22, “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; 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.” I was puzzled by this for a minute. How come the Lord is not punishing the old lying prophet and punishing the man of God who listened to him? I believe the old prophet’s time of punishment would come but for now, God was not going to let His name be tarnished because He appears to have given a contradicting message. God used a false prophet to bring doom to the man of God and I believe God is letting the false prophets/teachers in our time to be on the loose for a season as people have chosen to listen to them rather than turn to God’s word as the measuring standard for every teaching, preaching or prophecy.
God has spoken to us by His word and others have risen to challenge His word to appear to be contradicting. And God in His mercy has not left us to figure these things out ourselves but rather, He has given us His precious word to be the test to every teaching, preaching and prophesy. Therefore, God’s people are more in danger of being drawn from their duty by the plausible pretenses of divinity and sanctity than by external inducements; we have therefore need to beware of false prophets, and not believe every spirit.
The man of God should have taken time to beg direction from God, and not have complied so soon. He became careless and made a costly choice that made him lose his life.
Vs. 24-25, “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. …”. Though the lion killed him as God planned it, the lion did not devour him. The lion also stood by the carcass as if he was the guard of it, to keep off all others from meddling with it; these circumstances are very surprising, and show the thing to be of God; for when the lion had done what he had been commissioned to do, which was to kill the prophet, he was to do no more. The lion did not kill the donkey and the donkey never ran. God was in control.
But as John Gill the commentator would ask, “But why doth God punish a good man so severely for so small an offense?” His sin was not small, for it was a gross disobedience to a positive command. And it cannot seem strange if God should bring his deserved death upon him in this manner, for the accomplishment of his own glorious designs, to vindicate his own justice from the imputation of partiality; to assure the truth of his predictions, and thereby provoke Jeroboam and his idolatrous followers to repentance; and to justify himself in all his dreadful judgments which he intended to inflict upon Jeroboam’s house, and the whole kingdom of Israel.”
God is destined to gain glory even in the midst of choices we make, the question that is left with us, whose voice will we listen to as we make those choices? The hard road is painful and costly, therefore choose this day who you will listen to God or that old lying prophet. Blessings, Ev