When God speaks (Part I)

Written by Alhassan Mohammed Sandargo.

"The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink with you in this place. I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came’”. The old prophet answered, ‘I too am a prophet, as you are. And…"(NIV) 1Kings 13:16-18a

Bible reading: 1Kings 13

It is heartening to know and to do the will and command of the Lord. When God gives a word, it must be acknowledged wholeheartedly. The tendency is always there to find seemingly attractive replacements for the Lord’s command. Such undertaking does no good to us.

The prophet in question was deceived by the juicy words of another but false prophet. The false prophet claimed to be speaking in the name of God though his pronouncement was self-acclaimed. The complete background to the story is in 1Kings 13.

Here are a few things that the prophet of God lost guard to consider:

First, the prophet of God did not realize that God required his total obedience. In 1Kings 13:9, the man of God did no return by the way he had gone to Bethel as the Lord had commanded. However, he did eat and drink water which he was told not to in 1Kings 13:19. Similarly, it is very tempting to assume that we have obeyed many things already and so we become complacent and disobedient to the word of God. Let’s constantly strive to pay attention to every word of God.

Next, we are told of ‘a certain old prophet’ (1Kings 13:11) who came in the way of the man of God mainly to distract him with lies. Unfortunately, the man of God yielded to the deception. And like the hymnist (Horatio R. Palmer) penned, ‘Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin; each vict’ry will help you some other to win’. It is not strange at all in our time to have countless distractions too. Daily so-called revelations are announced by ‘men of God’ that we need to be vigilant about. We are admonished not to follow deceiving spirits and hypocritical lies (1Tim 4:1-2). Such path only leads to sin and death.

Lastly, there was no verification to the claims of the false prophet. The prophet of the Lord bothered less to inquire of the Lord before acting otherwise: ‘So the man of God returned with him (the lying prophet) and ate and drank in his house’ (1Kings 13:19). Like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) who were considered nobler, we must also ascertain claims made in the name of God in order to escape the falsehood and deception of our time.

When God speaks, how well do you listen and obey?

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