There is an interesting story in 1 Kings 13. It involves 2 nameless prophets. One was following the directives given by the Lord. The other, however, deceived the first by leading him to disobey God. The second prophet who was the older one told an outright lie to the first. Why? We don’t know. So in this writing let’s examine how we can see through the deception of others.
For the Lord gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.’” But the old prophet answered, “I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.’” But the old man was lying to him. 1 Kings 13:17,18
The younger prophet was commanded by God to utter a prophetic declaration. King Jeroboam did not like what he heard.
When King Jeroboam heard the man of God speaking against the altar at Bethel, he pointed at him and shouted, “Seize that man!” But instantly the king’s hand became paralyzed in that position, and he couldn’t pull it back. 1 Kings 13:4
The prophecy was confirmed immediately. Then the king cried out to the man asking him to seek God for a healing, which he did. Gratefully the king offered to take him to the palace for a bite to eat. The prophet declined the invitation.
But the man of God said to the king, “Even if you gave me half of everything you own, I would not go with you. I would not eat or drink anything in this place. For the Lord gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.’” 1 Kings 13:8-9
So the younger prophet started for home when the older one sought him out. He deceptively convinced this young man of God to do the exact opposite of what he was commanded by the Lord.
But the old prophet answered, “I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.’” But the old man was lying to him. So they went back together, and the man of God ate and drank at the prophet’s home. 1Kings 13:18-19
Even though he disobeyed God because of deception the young prophet was killed on his way home. There is more to the story which can be read here in 1 Kings 13.
What Can We Do, to See Through the Deception of Others?
To see through the deception of others, it’s important to listen closely to what they say to us. Take, for instance, our story for today. The older prophet’s message didn’t coincide with the command the younger man had received from the Lord.
The older man said an angel spoke to him. The young man received his command directly from God. His mission was almost complete. He delivered God’s message and God confirmed it. All this young man needed to do was go back home.
That’s how the enemy works. He’ll allow us to complete 90% of what God’s will is for us before he brings deception. We’ll feel good about what God accomplished in and through us, thinking that the task finished. But is it?
Obedience to the Lord Is Paramount.
The young prophet repeated twice in the chapter, “I can’t eat or drink while I am here.” While they were eating the older man does hear from the Lord. With his message directed to the younger one.
Then while they were sitting at the table, a command from the Lord came to the old prophet. He cried out to the man of God from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. 1 Kings 13:20-21
An important message to learn from today’s story is this. An angel will never contradict God’s word. The bottom line is if we believe God has spoken to us, we better be obedient to Him. No matter who or what comes our way.
A related post to help us to grow in the Lord is How To Turn Depression into Delight
Check out this other post from 1 Kings called The Widow At Zarephath.
Lord, we always what to be obedient to you. Help us to see right through the deception of others.
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