Kristopher Shoemaker – Yehudah ben Shomeyr
The following is a little known or talked about story in the Bible, about a young Unnamed Prophet and an Elder Prophet in First Kings chapter 13, and the disastrous consequences that ensue when one does not have confidence in what they know God has told them.
V. 1-10 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
Our story begins with a No-name Prophet that comes out of nowhere with two powerful prophecies, accompanied by signs and wonders that rang the bell of King Jeroboam of Israel, like a fighter hitting his opponent square on the button of the chin. Jeroboam staggers, stutters and stammers with the shock as he stretches out his hand towards the Young Prophet commanding he be seized as his hand withers!
Humbled and clearly frightened, King Jeroboam asks the Nameless Prophet to pray that his hand be restored; he did and it was. The King then invited the No-Name Prophet to dinner at his home so as to reward him. The Unknown Prophet refuses, siting boldly, clearly and certain that the command of the LORD was not to eat or drink anything in that place and to return to his territory a different way than he came.
V. 11-17 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
A son of a nameless Elder Prophet in that region witnesses the whole showdown between King Jeroboam and the Young No-Name Prophet and he runs to report this to his father. The Old Prophet just had to meet this mysterious Nameless Prophet and took his donkey and went after him.
The Aged Prophet finds the Younger Prophet and invites him to his home for food and fellowship. The Nameless Prophet sites again God’s command not to eat or drink anything in that area, but to return to his home via an alternative route than he came.
V. 18-32 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him. And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him. And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: For the saying which he cried by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.
The Elderly Prophet LIES! He lies to the Unnamed Prophet, telling him that an angel came to him and told him find and invite the Young Prophet and bring him back home with him for food and fellowship.
Because he was a fellow Prophet and an Elder to be respected, he assumed he was telling the truth and would have no reason to believe he was lying to him and thus went along with him, DESPITE THE CLEAR COMMAND GOD PERSONALLY GAVE HIM, not to eat or drink anything in that region.
While they were eating, the Spirit of Adonai came upon the Old Prophet and he prophesied that the Young No-Name Prophet, because of his disobedience to God’s command to him, would die in such a way so as not to be buried in his family tomb.
Sure enough, as soon as the Young Prophet without a Name left to return to his home, he was attacked and killed by a lion. It was reported to the Elderly Local Prophet and he went and retrieved the body and buried it in his own tomb, fulfilling the prophecy he gave to the Nameless Prophet.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. – Gal. 1:8-10
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. – II Cor. 11:14-15
If God gives you a clear directive and command; HEED IT, OBEY IT! Don’t change course no matter what. No matter if it is a well-respected elder and authority figure. God is not going to send someone else to you that He changed his mind and is now commanding you to do THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what He first told you to do!
For I am the Lord, I change not – Mal. 3:6a
IF God is going to change His mind on a command He gives you, HE is going to tell you personally, He is not going to deliver such a message through someone else.
It’s like the classic Christian pick-up line, “The LORD told me that we are supposed to be together!” Which the reply should be, “Funny, God never told ME that!”
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND IN YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND WHAT YOU KNOW HE TOLD YOU TO DO!