If you have ever read 1 Kings 13, you will know the story of the “man of God” and King Jeroboam. The man of God came as a messenger of God to deliver a message to the King Jeroboam. Verse 3 says “he gave a sign the same day, saying, “aThis is the 1sign which the LORD has spoken, ‘Behold, the altar shall be split apart and the 2ashes which are on it shall be poured out.’” When Jeroboam stretched out his hand to the man of God it was still or frozen in place and he could not move it and the altar split as the man of God said it would.. After pleading with the man of God to ask God for restoration of his arm, it was. Jeroboam was so pleased he invited the man of God to his house but the man of God was given a command from God in the following verses:
8 But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water in this place. 9 “For so it was commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way which you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way which he came to Bethel.
Given this command from God, the man of God did so and was obedient to God’s command and went on his way. As the chapter moves ahead, we see the man of God meets with and old prophet in verse 11 who heard about the deeds that the man of God had done in Bethel. The old prophet invites the man of God to his home and eat bread. The man of God replies with the command that he received from God in verses 8-10. The old prophet devised a trick or a lie to get the man of God to his house by telling him that he had a revelation from an angel in verse 18 that he was to bring back the man of God to his house. The man of God fell for the lie and joined the old prophet in his house.
The word of the LORD came to the old prophet telling him of the demise for breaking the command God had given him. After hearing this, the man of God had got on a donkey and departed only to find a lion waiting for him on the road and killed him. The donkey did not run off in fear nor did the lion devour the man of God into pieces but only slayed him and all three were on the road, the dead, the lion and the donkey.
As the chapter continues, the old prophet retrieves the body and tells his sons to bury him in his grave and when the time comes for his departure to bury him in the same grave as the man of God. After hearing this, Jeroboam, who had seen for himself the grace that God bestowed him restoring his arm from before, did not change his evil ways and continued to do what was evil in the eyes of the LORD.
The point here that we see with the man of God has been seen all throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament record. We can go as far back as the fall in the Garden where Adam and Eve were the first humans to disobey God’s commands (Gen. 3). Following the next generation with Cain and Able (Gen. 4). We can follow along in Genesis and see the progression of disobedience leading to the flood and Noah (Gen. 6:9-8:22). Throughout history, man has rebelled against God and those have suffered dearly and the lost who never came to faith and repentance perished. As for those who had faith but did not follow the commands of God and His Law were dealt with swiftly and God, being perfect, just and right, must hold to His standards which at times results in punishment of those He loves.
But in this case, the man of God was told a lie by the old prophet. It was not his fault, he just followed the lie. In today’s times, we are faced with so much information via all media devices and most this information is full of lies. Even if we tune into most Christian programs on the TV, radio or internet, there is still a danger to what we find putting into our heads.
We must be very careful what we watch and listen to and who we listen to. The local pastor, as well meaning as he is, may not be properly trained to deliver the proper rendering of God’s Word. Even for salvation, the wrong Gospel is out there being preached all day long to people seeking Jesus. Although most those seeking Jesus might be wanting to follow for the wrong reasons, there are those who genuinely are seeking to follow Him to establish a relationship and avoid the eternal hell that awaits the unbeliever. That is why we need to be like the Bereans who searched Scripture to see of what they were being told was true (Acts 17:11). Do not be lazy and just take anyone’s word for it, test them. We must rely only on God and what His Word tells us.
Romans 1:20 tells us that man is without excuse. God has revealed Himself in general revelation with all He has created all around us. So, belief in God and Christ is required. When the lost come to face judgment, and are face to face with God, there will be no excuses that God will listen to for not having faith and coming to repentance from their sins. We cannot give excuses that we heard a false Gospel from a shady preacher or we were lied to by a heretical denomination of false religion all together. The man of God was lied to by an old prophet and suffered greatly just by not following God’s command.
We must guard ourselves from attacks from the adversary. Satan is working hard and as we see society in its current state, he has plenty of listeners following false teachers or not following at all. We must be saturated in the Word of God and search for truths for ourselves working on our relationship with Christ following as He has commanded us to do. There are no excuses as we seen in His Word.