1 Kings 13:1-25
I’m sorry that today’s reading is a little more than what we normally digest, but trust me, it’s worth it to know this story. This is one of the most instructive stories in Kings or Chronicles, and most people are not as familiar with it as with stories about David or Solomon.
We don’t know what this man’s name was, since he’s only called a “man of God” in this passage. Apparently he was a prophet, speaking on God’s behalf and getting direct revelation from him. Everything he said came true, and he was sent to warn King Jeroboam and the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to return to worshiping the Lord as opposed to making up their own religion.
The king tried to entice him to supper, possibly thinking that he could influence the prophet to change the prophecy he had pronounced. The man of God, warned against this by the Lord, adamantly refused any hospitality.
But then came his downfall. Another prophet, without any recorded name, tried to persuade the man of God to have a meal with him. In that culture, hospitality was considered extremely important, and homeowners would even compete with each other for the privilege of entertaining a certain guest, especially a prominent one like this one. The man of God refused at first, citing the fact that his Lord had warned him against it. But then the prophet from the North convinced him to come inside by outright lying to him, making up a story about seeing an angel who told him that it would be all right. Perhaps influenced by hunger, thirst, and tiredness, the man of God relented. As you can see by reading the rest of the passage, this one mistake cost him his life.
Why is this story so important? In this world, there are multiple voices competing for our attention. The enemy tries to lure us away from God’s instructions with a host of distractions. It could be as obvious as sexual immorality, or as innocuous as watching TV.
Worst of all, he has plenty of ministers under his control, men and women who make it their life’s work to tell people what they want to hear. Even men and women who claim to speak for God. They might claim that an angel spoke to them, or even Jesus himself. And unfortunately, there are plenty of people, even Christians, who give them an audience.
How do we avoid this? Folks, this isn’t rocket science or brain surgery. Get to know God’s word, intimately and faithfully. Check everything a supposed Bible teacher says against what the Lord has said in his word. Yes, that includes your pastor. With all the noise around us, we need to learn how to tune it out and listen for our Shepherd’s voice.
Lord Jesus, please tune my ears for your voice. Everything else, help me to tune it out.