A Prophet Slain By A Lion
There is an unusual story about two unknown prophets in 1 Kings 13.
When Israel was divided into Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Southern Kingdom (Judah), Yahweh anointed Jeroboam from the tribe of Ephraim to be king over the North. However, Jeroboam quickly turned away from the Lord and led his people to worship idols.
One day while Jeroboam was worshipping at the altar of his idol in Bethal, an unknown prophet from the land of Judah came to warn him about his idol worship with signs and wonders. After that, he left quickly as the Lord told him not to eat any bread or drink any water in that place.
While he was leaving, an old prophet in Bethal heard what he did and came to meet him on his way. Even though he told the old prophet that the Lord charged him not to eat or drink in Bethal, the old prophet insisted in taking him home, and lied to him that it was an angel of the Lord who told him to bring him home to eat bread and drink water. The prophet from Judah believed him, and was later slain by a lion.
Trust in God, Not Man of God!
A big lesson we can learn this story is that, We should trust God, and not anybody else no matter what their titles are! If a liar or a stranger talks to us, of course we would question the truth of their words, but how about doctors, teachers, families, friends, pastors, or even our own experience?
Sometimes it may not be the intention of these people to lie to us. They may have wrong information themselves, or they may give advice out of their own flesh, or they may have interpreted the situations incorrectly. Lord Jesus Himself gave us a good example on what we should do:
But Jesus did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all men. He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, because he himself knew what was in their hearts. John 2:24-25
Like Jesus, we must not entrust ourselves to any man! But since we do not know all men as Jesus does, we must ask for wisdom from the Holy Spirit, and put all our trust in the guidance of the Lord!
Why Did the Old Prophet in Bethal Lie?
There is no explanation in the Bible, but just to satisfy my own curiosity, I have made some guesses. Readers please feel free to share with me your thoughts or comments!
I believe the old prophet used to be a true vessel of God. However, he was defiled by the wide practice of idolatry in Bethal, and could no longer be used as God's messenger. This explains why a prophet was called to travel all the way from Judah to give prophecies in Bethal.
Having heard about the signs and wonders performed by the prophet from Judah, the old prophet was eager to meet his "successor" and invited him to feast in his house. However, he made the same mistake in following his own flesh instead of listening to the "still small voice" from God, and eventually caused the prophet from Judah to be devoured by a lion!
God finally gave the old prophet another chance to give a Word of Knowledge that, the prophet from Judah was delivered to a lion because of his disobedience. This serves as a warning to both himself and everyone who reads their story.
Readers, what do you think? Please feel free to share with me your ideas and comments !