The Young and Old Prophet
 
By Keith Greer

“...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.”{1 Kings 13:8,9} This young prophet had come into the land of Bethel to prophesy against the idolatrous practices of King Jeroboam. Following his prophesy the king tried to have the prophet arrested. In the process his hand was struck and withered by God—he entreated the prophet to pray and seek God’s mercy in restoring his hand. God showed mercy and his hand was restored and now the king wanted to give the prophet a reward—but he refused and followed the instructions of the Lord—very commendable.

Old prophet lies. “He said to him, "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 he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.”{1 Kings 13:18,19} What happened to the young prophet after he left the old prophet’s house? “When he was gone, 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.”{1 Kings 13:24} The old prophet goes and gets his body and buries it in his own tomb with instructions to bury his body along side this prophet when he dies.

Lessons to be learned? Many times when this account is studied it raises in our mind many questions: Why did the old prophet lie to him? Why would he bury him in his own grave? Why would he desire to buried with him? Please keep this passage in mind of the story, “Now when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard it, he said, "It is the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the LORD. Therefore the LORD has delivered him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to him.”{1 Kings 13:26} Why did the young prophet die? Disobedience to the Lord’s command!

Unfortunately, what is missed in this story is that the prophet well understood and knew what God had instructed him to do. The lie of the old prophet did not erase away the command of God. Herein is an important lesson—false teaching does not erase the truth! When I read in His book God’s instructions on any subject—that is the truth on that subject no matter who and what lie is told to contradict that teaching. Men must always stick with the truth of God’s book and never compromise that truth. The reason the young prophet died is he forget to stick with what God told him. Let us always remember—first listen to God and follow Him always!


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