“But the old prophet answered, ‘I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.’ ‘ But the old man was lying to him. So they went back together, and the man of God ate and drank at the prophet’s home. Then while they were sitting at the table, a command from the Lord came to the old prophet. He cried out to the man of God from Judah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where he told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.’ ” 13:18-22
These were pretty wild chapters (shrine prostitutes? Symbolic donkey and lion hang out in the road?!), but I was really upset about this part. Why would the old prophet do that? Ugh, it doesn’t sit right with me. I dwelled on it for a while, and unfortunately, recalled that usually when Scripture deeply rubs me the wrong way, it’s because it resonates with me personally.
The old prophet is holding up a mirror for me that I don’t really want to look into. Insecure and prone with pride. The Bible leaves out the exact details, but here’s what I speculate:
Jealousy. This man is described as “the old prophet”. As in, old news. As in, probably not prophesying anymore. His sons are visiting him, possibly even caring for him. He hears of a new man of God performing snappy new miracles and decides to take him down. Yikes.
Is there something in your life you’ve placed a little too much worth in?
I don’t want to be like the old prophet, and wow, I don’t want to be like the man of God either. He puts his life on the line for a meal (glad I’m not the only one who is often ruled by their appetite), and deliberately disobeys EXACTLY what God said to him.
I’m not convinced he entirely believed the prophet when he said God changed his mind and said it was okay to come over for dinner. It’s just easy to believe other godly people when they tell you what you want to hear.
But we don’t answer to godly people, we answer to God.
How do you go about sifting your decisions through God’s word? Who do you find yourself turning to when you need to make a decision? Someone who will tell you what you want to hear, or someone who will tell you the truth?