Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Liar's Lament

By Mary Vee
I Kings 13:25-32

From The Prophet's Journal

I had heard that a prophet from Jerusalem came to the altar king Jeroboam set up. The prophet spoke a message from God to him. His message didn't exactly please, Jeroboam. In fact, Jeroboam wanted him arrested. 

A strange thing happened. Jeroboam had reached out his hand to yell at the prophet, and immediately it became paralyzed. Those who witnessed the event said they were amazed. Jeroboam ordered the prophet to pray to his God to heal the hand. The prophet did then finished his message. 

I'd heard he went back home down the road that went past my home. I went out looking for him, to offer food and rest. Not far away I saw him sitting under a tree. I invited him to my home, but he refused saying, "God instructed me not to turn back, I am not to eat bread or drink water with you in this place."

His droopy eyes showed how tired he was. Probably hadn't eaten or drank in a while. I said, "Come on. I too am a prophet, as you are." He looked up at me, brow furrowed as if not sure of my words. I really wanted to help him so I lied, "An angel said to me by the word of the Lord: 'Bring him back with you to your house and give him bread and water.'"

I reached my hand out to help him up. I felt honored to have him in my home.

Again something strange happened. While we sat down to eat I received a message from the Lord. Imagine! Me. The words flowed from my mouth without a thought. I said, "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 you will die and not be buried with your fathers."

I hardly believed the words from my mouth. Maybe God wanted to scare the prophet. After we ate, I packed my own donkey for him and watched him leave. 

A short while later some people passed by my house telling news. They said, "Further down this very road we saw a body thrown down. And there was a lion standing beside it!"

I knew who it was. "It is the man of God who did not obey the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him to the lion which has killed him as the word of the Lord had warned."

I called my sons to help me. "Saddle the donkey for me." As soon as the donkey was ready I mounted and rode as quickly as possible to the place. There I found the prophet's body with  the donkey I gave him standing near and the lion, too. The lion had neither eaten the body nor hurt the donkey. 

I pick up the prophet's body and laid it on the donkey he rode. Tears flowed down my face. I took him straight to the tomb I had set aside for myself. I wept bitterly for him. "Oh, my brother!"

I called my sons closer and instructed them, "When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried. Lay my bones beside his bones. I now know the message he brought from the word of the Lord saying all of Jeroboam's priests will be killed is true. His words against the altar in Bethel and the shrines on the high places is true. This, my sons, was a true man of God."

Despite this prophet of God's words, king Jeroboam didn't change his evil ways. He instead appointed more priests for the high places choosing anyone he please. And none were Levites as the Lord commanded.

What terrible days are ahead. And I wept more.

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photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com

1. Why did the prophet of Bethel invite the prophet from Jerusalem to his house?
2. While at the prophet of Bethel's house, what happened?
3. Did either man believe it would happen?
4. What news came to the prophet of Bethel from travelers on the road?
5. What did the prophet of Bethel do?
6. Why did the prophet of Bethel cry?
7. Did king Jeroboam listen to the prophet of Jerusalem?

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