Still reading in 1 Kings. Today was the account of a prophet of the Lord coming to warn Jeroboam of the destruction of the altar at Bethel, thus voicing His disapproval of Jeroboam's new alternative worship system that was not ordained by the Lord. Jeroboam isn't too happy about this, and invites the prophet to come home with him to try and sway his opinion/prophecy. At this juncture the prophet stays true to what the Lord told him (1 Kings 13:8-10)
And the man of God said to the king, "If you give me half your house, I will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'You shall neither eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came.'" So he went another way and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel.
A little later, though, the prophet lets down his guard. Another, older, prophet hears of this younger prophet and invites him into his home. At first the young prophet declines, repeating what the Lord had told him. The older prophet lies to the younger one (verse 18):
And he said to him, "I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.'" But he lied to him.I'm not sure what the younger prophet thought at this point. That this older (and therefore wiser?) man also heard from God, so he'd defer to him? That maybe the Lord was changing the rules but didn't tell him? That he could believe the other guy just because he invoked the Lord's name?
It was a reminder to me that we always, always, always need to stand on the Lord's promises and words to us (as long as they are in line with scripture) and not be swayed by what someone else says the Lord is telling us to do. Of course, we need to listen to counsel from others, and be teachable that God may indeed speak to us through them. There are times, however, when each of us KNOW that God is leading us a certain way, or has impressed upon our hearts what we are to do in a given situation. When we know what God has said (this prophet knew exactly what his directions were), we need to obey it no matter what other people tell us. The price for the young prophet's disobedience was severe: Death. Thankfully, because of Jesus, there is forgiveness and grace for our disobedience--though we may still pay a steep price.
Just a sobering reminder to take God's words seriously.
On my list of "Questions to ask God when I'm Dead", though, is why the old prophet, who lied, doesn't have any consequence that we see. These are the things that I wonder about. . .