prophet

Steadfast in Truth

Led by truth

Led by truth

One of the most significant things any Christian can do is to uphold the Word of God.   There are a lot of people out there who think they have the answer when they have not really taken the time to study God’s Word.  There are even people in positions of spiritual authority who abuse their position and deceive many.    The distortion of the Bible is nothing new.  If you got back to 1 Kings 13 there is a story about a prophet who is told very specifically what to do.  He was not to eat the bread, drink the water or return the way he came because that is what God said.   He went where he was supposed to go and the king offered him food and water.  What did he do?

He obeyed God’s Word

This is one of those victories for the believer because he is so resolved in his conviction.  He says he would not even go if he were to give him half his possessions.  Do you see that?  The value of the Word of God is so powerful and real to him that he is not going to jeopardize that.   He believes it and he does it.  He then leaves, going a different way because that was what he was told to do.

This is when things get troubling for him.  There was an old prophet who decided to chase him down and lie to him.

“The old prophet answered, I too am a prophet, as you are.  And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD”  Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat brad and drink water. (But he was lying to him.” – 1 Kings 13:18

He gets fooled by someone who should have been honest with him. 

A prophet is supposed to be a truth teller.  How hard would it be to ignore a man who is supposed to be a prophet?  You would think it would have been easy if you knew that God said something else.  God wasn’t going to change his mind!  He should not have let his guard down. But it only took an instant and he was deceived.

I think this is so powerful for any of us because we can so easily be deceived if we don’t remain steadfast in what we know God says.  The right answer would have been “that is not what God said!”  In today’s context there are many who just don’t know what God said.  We need to stop thinking with our emotions and start thinking through the grid of God’s Word.

He gets punished 

The next section we see the man getting killed by a lion.  That seems harsh on the surface.  We need to understand that he knew better and he made a choice to completely ignore what God told him.  The problem here is not God’s judgement; the problem is the sinful man who disobeyed.

So this serves as a fair warning for all of us.  Are you being pushed around by popular culture or by people who have written best-selling books?  You do realize that the Bible is a best seller too, right?  Let’s make sure we have things in the right order.  The prophet in this story put the words of some prophet over God.  That is a costly error- one that I don’t want to make.

 

 

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Isn’t this an overreaction? – 2 Kings 2:23-25

One of the greatest stories to bring up with high school students is the story of Elisha’s way of dealing with a bunch of youth.  They called him bald and he prayed and God sent bears to maul them.  Sounds like teens should be nice to their bald youth pastors.  But, why was this the reaction?  At face value, this looks rather harsh.  I mean, couldn’t they have just said, “hey, be nice to the man.”

First, here is the story, if you are not familiar.

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!”  He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.  And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria. – 2 Kings 2:23-25

The explanation lies in both who the youth were and who Elisha was.  First of all, I asked an Old Testament professor about this and one thing he brought up was that this wasn’t the average youth group.  This was a group of trouble makers, or muggers.  They were comparable to a street gang.  So, sorry youth pastors, I guess if you are balding you can’t use this as a threat.

When they tell him to “go on up” they are not just talking trash.  They are telling him to move on, to get out of town.  Elisha, being a prophet, would not have always received a warm welcome in all places.  Clearly this group was not thrilled with the message he brought and wanted him gone.

With that being said, this had everything to do with opposition to God.  In this case, God dealt with the opposition in a swift fashion.  It is never a good idea to be opposed to God.  This is not a new concept, but just an occurrence where it is done with uniqueness.

It is not an overreaction.  It is the act of an unholy people trying to live in proximity to a Holy God.  This is something that they never did well, which is why Jesus Christ coming was so significant.  Now there was a mediator between God and man.  Now there was an ability to be forgiven of sin and to be viewed as righteous before God.  We could never have done that!

I will say that if you are a teen and have a balding youth pastor, it is still wise to be nice to him.  But, when he tries to ask God for bears to maul you, make sure you remind him of what was really going on there.

And of course — be careful who you taunt. 🙂

Isn’t this an overreaction? – 2 Kings 2:23-25

One of the greatest stories to bring up with high school students is the story of Elisha’s way of dealing with a bunch of youth.  They called him bald and he prayed and God sent bears to maul them.  Sounds like teens should be nice to their bald youth pastors.  But, why was this the reaction?  At face value, this looks rather harsh.  I mean, couldn’t they have just said, “hey, be nice to the man.”

First, here is the story, if you are not familiar.

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!”  He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.  And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria. – 2 Kings 2:23-25

The explanation lies in both who the youth were and who Elisha was.  First of all, I asked an Old Testament professor about this and one thing he brought up was that this wasn’t the average youth group.  This was a group of trouble makers, or muggers.  They were comparable to a street gang.  So, sorry youth pastors, I guess if you are balding you can’t use this as a threat.

When they tell him to “go on up” they are not just talking trash.  They are telling him to move on, to get out of town.  Elisha, being a prophet, would not have always received a warm welcome in all places.  Clearly this group was not thrilled with the message he brought and wanted him gone.

With that being said, this had everything to do with opposition to God.  In this case, God dealt with the opposition in a swift fashion.  It is never a good idea to be opposed to God.  This is not a new concept, but just an occurrence where it is done with uniqueness.

It is not an overreaction.  It is the act of an unholy people trying to live in proximity to a Holy God.  This is something that they never did well, which is why Jesus Christ coming was so significant.  Now there was a mediator between God and man.  Now there was an ability to be forgiven of sin and to be viewed as righteous before God.  We could never have done that!

I will say that if you are a teen and have a balding youth pastor, it is still wise to be nice to him.  But, when he tries to ask God for bears to maul you, make sure you remind him of what was really going on there.

Have a wonderful Lord’s Day and Mother’s Day!  I trust the Lord will meet you as you gather with others today in worship.