[forthright] He Believed a Lie

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 07:36:13 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
Straight to the Cross

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He Believed a Lie
 by Tim Hall

At first we feel pity for the unnamed "man of God"
described in 1 Kings 13. After all, he accepted a
potentially dangerous mission from God by confronting
evil King Jeroboam about the unauthorized altar he had
built in Bethel. This prophet was faithful and
courageous in carrying out his assignment.

But he never made it home alive. As he traveled back to
Judah, a lion killed him, and the obvious inference
from the text is that God sent the lion. Why would God
do such a thing to a man who had been faithful to His

The man of God had not been completely faithful to his
mission. One part of God's orders was that he not eat
or drink while in Bethel. At first, he was obedient and
refused Jeroboam’s invitation to dine with him.

But an old prophet caught up with him on his way home,
and told him that God had changed the orders. God now
wanted the man of God to come dine in Bethel, according
to the older prophet. The text tells us, however, that
the old prophet "was lying to him" (1 Kings 13:18,

In most respects, the man of God did well. As long as
he listened only to the Lord and did His will, he would
be blessed. But when he chose to believe a different
message instead of the one God gave him, tragedy
followed. He was sincere in what he did, but he was
sincerely wrong.

Centuries later, Paul warned Christians about falling
into the same trap: 

   "And for this reason God will send them
   strong delusion, that they should believe
   the lie, that they all may be condemned who
   did not believe the truth but had pleasure
   in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians

To put it simply, here is the choice we face: Will we
believe God, or will we put our trust in what others
tell us about God and His will? There are many
religious people who speak things that are not found in
the Bible. They sound so warm and sincere; how could we
believe for a moment that they're in error?

But if their message doesn’t match the message God has
given us in His word, they are in error, and we would
be foolish to follow their teachings instead of the

Why have we been given this account about the man of
God who believed a lie? Because it's a perennial
problem, one that God’s people continually face.

Let us follow two simple admonitions: "Buy the truth,
and do not sell it..." (Proverbs 23:23), and "... Your
word is truth" (John 17:17). When we walk only in the
light of God's truth, we'll be safe.

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