Old Prophet/New Prophet

While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back. He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the LORD says: ‘You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.’ ” 1 Kings 13:20-22

This is a fascinating little story buried within the Book of 1 Kings. A prophet came to Jereboam, king of the 10 tribes of Israel. The king had cried out against the altar and the prophet told King Jereboam that the altar would be split that day. Jereboam stretched out a hand to seize the prophet and the hand shriveled up. Jereboam then asked the prophet to pray for his hand to heal, and he did. Next Jereboam offered for the prophet to stay but the prophet refused by saying, “For I was commanded by the word of the LORD : ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.”

Next while the prophet was on the way, someone else informed an older prophet about the first prophet’s actions with the King. The older prophet immediately sought out the prophet and convinced him (through a lie) to come home with him. The first prophet did. After they arrived at the older prophet’s home, the word of the Lord came upon the older prophet and rebuked him for not obeying the Lord’s original words.

Whew!

So, on the one hand the older prophet had lied to the other prophet in order to get him to go the older prophet’s home. Then the Lord rebuked the prophet for disobeying the Lord. So the older prophet lied but then he became God’s instrument for rebuking a fellow prophet. One of the morals to this story is this: don’t doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light. In other words, if you are absolutely sure that God has told you something, when doubts and fears come don’t forget what he originally told you. Obviously we need to be sure that God was actually impressing something on our hearts (verified through Scripture and others). but once we know that, let nothing stop us.

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