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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Transgression Of The Unnamed Prophet

Then the king said to the man of God, "Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward."

But the man of God said to the king, "If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so it was commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.'" So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.

Now an old prophet {who} dwelt in Bethel, ... said to him, "Come home with me and eat bread." ..."I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" (He was lying to him.)

So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that ... a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse. And there, men passed by and saw the corpse thrown on the road, and the lion standing by the corpse. Then they went and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.

So it was, after [the old prophet] had buried him, that he spoke to his sons, saying, "When I am dead, then bury me in the tomb where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. For the saying which he cried out by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the shrines on the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, will surely come to pass."

After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way... (1 Kings 13:7-11,15,18,23-25,31, NKJV)

The unnamed Prophet had just given a powerful prophecy to Jeroboam, king of the ten northern tribes of Israel. This prophecy was immediately confirmed by the splitting of the idolatrous altar at Bethel and the withering of the king's hand that he had angrily pointed at the prophet. The prophet subsequently prayed for the restoration of Jeroboam's hand, and the Lord immediately healed the king's hand.

Jeroboam was so appreciative of his hand being restored, that he invited the unnamed Prophet to dinner. Since he had been warned by the Lord to refrain from eating, or even drinking water in the northern kingdom of Israel, the unnamed prophet refused Jeroboam's offer in obedience to the Lord's instructions, and left the area by a different route to return home.

On his way, the unnamed Prophet was met by an old prophet who lived in Bethel, who immediately invited him to dinner, falsely declaring that the old prophet had received a more recent word from the Lord rescinding the word the unnamed prophet had received. Shortly after accepting the old prophet's offer, the unnamed prophet was prophetically chastised by the Lord through the old prophet, and was subsequently killed by a lion, who then refrained from further injuring him, the donkey he was riding, or the old prophet, who later picked up the body for burial. The old prophet then requested to be buried with the unnamed prophet since he knew that his prophecy was going to be fulfilled.

In this story we learn that the Lord doesn't lower His expectations for us, even after a powerful demonstration of faith. Second, even though the Lord will often provide us with prophetic confirmations of His word to us, we should be very suspect of any contrary, supposedly prophetic words from others, especially those closely associated with people we know are living in rebellion to the Lord. Third, the Lord expects us to properly discern His word to us and perfectly obey, in spite of any statements to the contrary by others deceptively claiming to be prophesying for the Lord.

Copyright (c) 2008 Jon Straumfjord

Jon V Straumfjord III is the author of numerous articles about the Seven Spirits of God and the God of the Bible. He is also the creator of the website www.7-spirits.com , and is the author of the book "The Seven Spirits of God."

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