Today we are going to look at some examples of people who heard God and didn't do what He said. We will begin in 1st Kings 13.
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. verses 1 and 2.
The kingdom of Israel had been divided after the death of Solomon and the first king of the northern ten tribes was Jeroboam. He had been given the northern tribes by the Lord through a prophet and was given this promise And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. 1st Kings 11:38
This is a tremendous promise that Jeroboam would not have the faith to get a hold of. Just one chapter later, after he is established as king we read the following; And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 1st Kings 12:26-31
Fear, one of the devil's greatest weapons, the Apostle John had some things to say about it in 1st John 4, look it up sometime. Look at the words that Jeroboam said to the people of Israel and compare them to Exodus 32:4 when Aaron had made the golden cow at the mountain of God as Moses was on the mountain talking with God; "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Some people never learn and Jeroboam's son would only be king after him for 2 years before the Lord would give the kingdom to somebody else who would kill all the sons of Jeroboam.
As for the word spoken by the prophet, the fulfillment wouldn't come for about 300 years. This man of God heard Him so well that he could name a king of Judah and something he would do 300 years before he was born. Not only that, the people of the city would remember these words 300 years later; 2nd Kings 23:14-18 And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men. Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove. And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel. And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.
When this prophet spoke these words against the alter he also gave a sign to signify the truth of the words, 1st Kings 13:3-6 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.
This impressed the king and he offered to reward the prophet, verses 7-10. 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.
Two points, why, if the king was so impressed, did he not repent and tear down these alters he had built to false gods? Second point, the prophets response is right on and one way to tell the true prophets from the false. Often the false prophets are found in evil king's castles, because they work for the king instead of God. Rare is the king that will tolerate a true prophet. There were a few, David, Hezekiah, Josiah and a few others but most would reward the prophets they couldn't buy off with prison or worse.
Lets read on and see what happens to this true prophet. 1st Kings 13:11-17 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.
Before we continue with the story one might wonder why, if there was a prophet already in Bethel, God would have to get one all the way from Judah to come tell the king he was blowing it. Verse 18 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.
Here the prophet from Judah was in a tough spot, in these days when a man spoke for God it could be a life or death situation. This older prophet was a true prophet as we will see and how or why he lied i cannot say however the prophet from Judah believed him instead of sticking to the word God had given him personally.
Verses 19-23 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.
Like i said before i don't understand how a man can lie one minute and speak a word of prophesy the next but remember that Caiaphas, the high priest that brought Jesus before Pilate spoke a word of prophesy in John 11: 48-52. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
Also remember that there will be people who will say " Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" and will hear "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:22 and 23.
Any way it didn't take 300 years for the words of the second prophet to come to pass, 1st Kings 13:24, 25 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.
The second prophet then does his best to make it as right as he can, verses 26-32 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.
After all this king Jeroboam still could not muster the faith to believe God, which always is proven by obedience or disobedience. 1st Kings 13: 33, 34 After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.
Jesus said in John 14: 14-21 If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
If i could sum up this weeks study in one sentence it would be this. Hear God for your own self and do what He says no matter the odds or the results and in the long run you will be all right. Having said that i will say this also, none of us that i know of are completely there yet but the grace of God is allowing us to GROW in that direction, as long as we keep our face toward the Son and our ground watered with His words.
Until next week the Lord bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.