Friday, September 13, 2019

The Vision (9.13.19): But he lied unto him

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on 1 Kings 13.

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 (1 Kings 13:18).

1 Kings 13 provides one of the most unusual narratives found in the Old Testament. A prophet described as “a man of God out of Judah” (v. 1) confronted the false worship promoted by King Jeroboam. As he returned home, however, this same prophet was deceived by “an old prophet in Bethel” who convinced him to disobey God’s explicit instructions to him and to turn aside for a meal.

In order to mislead the man of God the old prophet of Bethel claimed to have been visited by an angel (v. 18a). The inspired historian then adds: “But he lied unto him” (v. 18b).

We should stop and reflect on this:

First, this episode reveals the precarious nature of relying on supposed experience alone. It reminds us of the superiority of our present situation as New Covenant believers now that we have the complete Word of God written, by which to test all things.

Second, it reminds us that men can lie about their experiences and can claim false experiences in order to manipulate others.

Third, it reminds us of the importance of what we might call the “non-contradictory” principle of God’s Word. The man of God of Judah failed in that he believed that God’s Word to him had been changed or was contradicted by some “new” revelation.
The apostle Paul exhorted the churches of Galatia: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:18). In warning the Corinthians to beware “false apostles” Paul told that them that Satan can transform himself into “an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:13-14).

Beware the man who says, “God told me….” Test everything, as did the Bereans, by the Word of God (Acts 17:11).

As the apostle John exhorted, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

May the Lord give us wisdom and discernment.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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