Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” And he said, “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.'” 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. So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water… And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the donkey stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body. (1 Kings 13:15-19, 24 ESV)
There are so many memorable stories in the Bible and this is one of them. The story begins with a man of God coming from Judah to the new king in the North, Jeroboam. Jeroboam was raised up by the Lord because of Solomon’s unfaithfulness, and ruled over the Northern tribes of Israel that split away from following Solomon’s son. Jeroboam had put up alters in two places within the Northern tribes and said, “these are the God’s who brought you out of Egypt!” He did it to prevent Israel from going back to Jerusalem (which is in Judah and ruled by Solomon’s son). It was an evil thing in the eyes of the Lord and God sends the man in the story above to tell Jeroboam so. This story, however, is about what else the Lord told the man of God. He told him not to eat or drink while in Israel. He is faithful to this word up until another man claiming to be a prophet comes and tells him that the Lord told him the he is to come to his house and eat. The man of God listens to the old lying prophet and is judged by the Lord as a result, by being killed by a lion! This story illustrates for us both the importance of keeping God’s word and that God does not contradict himself! I can’t tell you how many times someone I have heard someone say that the Lord was leading them to do whatever it is they are doing, even though what they are doing is clearly contrary to God’s Word. For example, one person says the Lord is leading him to marry a particular woman. He is convinced of it. But the Bible clearly says that a believer is not to marry an unbeliever. Or someone else has said God is leading her to do something other than what she committed to do. But the Bible says we are to keep our oaths and let our yes be yes and our no be no. These people have such a strong desire to do what they want to do that they either claim God’s leading so that others will support them or they mistake their own passionate desire for God’s leading. God does not lead us to do something contrary to what He has already revealed as His will. The New Testament warns us to “test the spirits.”
Have you ever thought God was leading you to do something in particular? Did you examine it closely against God’s revealed will?
Thank the Lord for revealing His will to you in the Bible and ask Him to give you a high interest in knowing it.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 1 Kings 13, Ph 4, Ez 43, Ps 34