Talk about a strange story. This is it. What possible lesson can we learn from it? Any ideas? What comes to me is this: whose voice do we listen to? Whose word counts?
The story and what happened. The Lord sends one of His prophets, one whose name is not mentioned anywhere, to King Jeroboam of the rebellious Northern Kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam, to keep his people from worshipping in the southern holy city of Jerusalem, sets up his own worship centers, chooses his own priests, establishes his own holy days, and worst of all, creates man-made idols for the people to worship. He’s as bad as bad can be.
This anonymous prophet gives due warning to Jeroboam, a chance to repent, turning back to God. No way! Not interested! So, God allows Jeroboam a traumatic seizure of his hand, and then the altar to false gods shatters and turns to dust. ‘Help!’, cries Jeroboam. This prophet prays. The One True God responds. A healing occurs. The king then asks the prophet to remain with him as his own religious guide.
But no, he can’t do that. Verse 9 says, “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.'” God is very direct with His prophet. Clear as clear can be. Go home! Now enters another unnamed ‘prophet’, called ‘a certain old prophet’ (v.11). Somehow he gets the other prophet to stay with him for a meal. Not what the Lord had told him to do. That cagey, old-goat had lied through his teeth, which were probably as false as he was! Tattled to the first prophet that an angel had told him that he should stay for some food and drink. Really? Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Too bad neither prophet listened to the Word of the Lord. How about you…and me? Too bad when we listen to the voice of society more than the Word of God. Too bad denominations cease hearing directly from the Bible. Too bad when pastors tickle ears more than teach from God’s Word. Too bad when the tide turns quickly on some moral issue and we float off to sea, drowning in the foam of current opinion rather than standing on God’s solid ground. Too bad indeed.
Who do you listen to? Whose voice counts?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your infallible Word. May we read it and heed it as our commitment to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.