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The Consequences of Prophecy- The Shriveled Hand, Lying Prophet, & Patient Lion

The core message repeated here at PMT is “Pray, Hear, & Obey”. Because we recognize the beauty and joy that comes from hearing from God directly or through His Prophets, it is imperative that His People know what to do when they receive a message from Our Creator. The rewards for being faithful to His Commands for our ministries and lives are far greater than we deserve, but the discipline for failing to follow His Instruction and out rightly ignoring it can be heavier than the pain Unbelievers experience.

An unnamed man of God, received word from the Lord to travel from Judah and go to Bethel in the Northern Kingdom of Samaria, to give their king Jeroboam a message. The man arrived as King Jeroboam was standing by the altar preparing to make an offering.

The man of God cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: “A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you”.

The man of God further declared: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: the altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out”.

When King Jeroboam heard this, he stretched out his hand from the altar and ordered his guards “Seize him!

But the hand he stretched out towards the man of God shriveled up into a monstrously decayed limb.

At the same moment, the altar of Bethel split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the Word of the Lord.

Despite standing before the altar of his false foreign god, King Jeroboam instead pleaded with the man of God, asking “Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored”.

The man of God obliged and interceded with the Lord, and the King’s hand was restored.

In an act of thanks, King Jeroboam invited the man of God to come to his palace to have a meal and that he wanted to reward him with a gift for helping to restore his hand.

The man of God rejected the king’s offer, explaining “Even if you were to give me half of your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came”.

So the man of God left Jeroboam, King of the Northern King of Samaria, and went back home a different route than the one he had traveled.

A certain old prophet who lived in Bethel heard from his sons, the exploits of the man of God and what he had told the king. Wanting to meet him, the old prophet asked his sons to saddle a donkey so that he could find the man of God.

The old prophet caught up with the man of God who was sitting under and oak tree, tired, hungry, & thirsty. After confirming that he was the man of God who had confronted the king, the old prophet asked him to come back home with him to eat in his home.

The man of God again repeated what he had told King Jeroboam previously “I have been told by the Word of the Lord: “You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.”

The old prophet answered “I too am a prophet, just like you.

But then the old prophet began to lie to convince the man of God to go home with him and eat, telling him, “An angel said to me by the Word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he can eat and drink”.

Relieved that his hunger could finally be satisfied with bread and his thirst slaked by cool water, the man of God eagerly went with the old prophet and eat and drank at his home.

When they arrived at the old prophet’s home, he received a True Revelation from the Lord concerning the man of God. The old prophet, in shame over his deceit, cried out to the man of God “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where He told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.

When the man of God went on his way, a lion attacked and killed him along the side of the rode. But the lion did not attack the donkey the man was riding, nor did the lion eat the man’s body, but instead sat beside the man’s dead body and the donkey. When travelers saw the strange sight, they shared their story with the city of Bethel where the old prophet heard what had happened.

Riddled with guilt for his lie that led to the man of God’s death, the old prophet went to fetch the body, which he found between the lion and the donkey. The old prophet picked up the body and brought it back to his own city, where he and his sons mourned over him and buried the man of God in the old prophet’s own tomb.

Despite all these things, Jeroboam did not stray from his evil ways and continued to appoint priests to the high places (ref. 1 Kings 13).

The man of God remained faithful to the message that he had received from the Lord when King Jeroboam offered him food, drink, and a reward for helping to restore his arm since it was easy and obvious to know that what the evil idolatrous king was advocating was contrary to what God had told him. The old prophet told what some might consider a well-meaning lie, to provide the man of God life essentials such as food, water, & rest, but it was directly counter to what God had instructed. The man of God not only lost his life but was buried away from his family, a tragic dishonor that would have been considered crushing in their culture. It might seem unfair to us that the man of God received such a stern punishment when King Jeroboam had his hand restored and continued in his evil ways, and the lying old prophet received no noted retribution.

The man of God received direct instruction from God and chose to listen to a stranger with a contrasting narrative, which on the surface seemed more gentle and easy than the path that God had given him. We are greatly blessed in the fact that God is still moving in our world and speaking directly to His People, but we must also recognize the weight of being able to hear from our Creator. When given direct commands from Him, we must not let outside voices redirect our paths, especially if they directly run counter to what He has directed us to do. So if we Pray to Hear His Voice, then we must Obey it, or suffer worse consequences than one who never heard Him.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

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