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Human Love that Entraps
Bible Passage 1 Kings 13: 11-34
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2022 & book 1 Kings.

Human Love that Entraps

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached October 12, 2022

11 And a certain old prophet was living 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 to the king they also told to their father.

12 And their father said to them, “Where is this man? What way did he go?” For his sons had seen what way the man of God had gone, who came from Judah.

13 And he said to his sons, “Saddle me the donkey.” And they saddled the donkey for him, and he rode on it,

14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.”

15 And he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”

16 And he said, “I may not return with you nor go in with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place,

17 For a word was given to me by the word of the LORD, ‘You shall eat no bread nor drink water there, nor return again by the way that you came.’ ”

18 And he said to him, “I am a prophet also as you are. And an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” But he lied to him.

19 So he went back with him and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

20 Then it came to pass as they sat at the table, the word of the LORD came to the prophet who brought him back.

21 And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have not obeyed the mouth of the LORD and have not kept the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you,

22 But came back and have eaten bread and have drunk water in the place which He said to you, “You shall not eat bread nor drink water,” your corpse shall not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.’ ”

23 Now it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk that he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

24 Then he left, and a lion met him by the way and killed him. And his dead body was thrown on the highway, and the donkey stood by it, and the lion also stood by the body.

25 And behold, men passed by and saw the body thrown in the way, and the lion standing by the body. And they came and told it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 And when the prophet who brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God who did not obey the word of the LORD. And 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.”

27 And he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it.

28 And he went and found his body thrown in the highway, and the donkey and the lion standing by the body. The lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey.

29 And the prophet took up the dead body of the man of God, and laid it upon the donkey and brought it back. And the prophet came to the city to mourn and to bury him.

30 And he laid his body in his own grave. And they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!”

31 And it came to pass after he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I am dead, then bury me in the tomb in which the man of God is buried. Lay my bones beside his bones,

32 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 in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.”

33 After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but turned and again made priests of the high places from the lowest of the people; anyone who desired to be made a priest, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.

34 And this thing became the sin of the house of Jeroboam, even to destroy it from the face of the earth.

From yesterday’s reflections, we saw how God sent a prophet from Judah to go to Jeroboam in Bethel to condemn his leadership and way of life. We should remember the dramatic manner God showed His authority through this prophet.

However, there was another prophet, a much older man, who lived in Bethel and had apparently not spoken out against Jeroboam’s wrongdoing. The old prophet seems to have been jealous of the prophet from Judah, and decided to tempt him to disobey God’s command. By using lies and deceit he was successful (verse 11-19).

An older prophet indeed. Jealousy, and envy and unnecessary competition is in ministry such that two prophets cannot stay together or work together. Unfortunately, these prophets have led God’s people astray because of their stomach willed ministry. They cannot tell the church members the truth because of fear of losing their 5kg rice or usual envelope. Many have become sacramental prophets only, and refuse to confront evil or wrongdoing.

It appears as if young people in ministry must work to the dictates of the old, but not what the scriptures teach or the constitution of the church says. If you can’t act on their selfish desires, you will be tagged as disrespectful. Now, was is right for the young prophet to reject the instruction of the older prophet. What would you have said if he rejected it?! Should we obey human beings or God?

As the prophet from Judah was returning home, he was killed by a lion in punishment for his disobedience (verse 20-26). The prophet was lured to obey the instruction of the older prophet and he ended up disobeying God. I have always said that ministry is not about obeying human beings. It is God who must be obeyed.

When the people of Bethel saw the lion standing quietly beside the body of the man it had killed, without either eating the body or attacking the man’s donkey, they realized that this was no ordinary death. The old prophet also was shocked, and expressed his admiration for the younger man’s boldness (verse 27-32). Listen to the wonderful tribute the young prophet received at death. This looked like a typical African mentality. His praise was sang after his death.

But in spite of these warnings of judgement, Jeroboam did not change his ways (verse 33-34). Jeroboam disobeyed the instructions on even how priests should be appointed. He did it his own way.

🔷 It is better to suffer the wicked, selfish, envious and treacherous plan of human beings than to disobey God.

🔷 God will punish and finally destroy those who obey human laws but do not trust in Him or do His will

🔷 Following God diligently will make people plan evil against you always. Beware and stand firm for God always.

💥 Pray that you shall not fall into the trap on any person
💥 Ask God to forgive you any act of disobedience

It is the will of God, not contrary human laws and instructions that must be obeyed. Beware of the counsel of friends and neighbours, as well as colleagues, because most may have the evil agenda to destroy you.

In series Bright Morning Reflections