Disobedience can be fatal!
God can only use us effectively if we are following His instructions exactly.
Then the king said to the man of God, "Come to the palace with me and have something to eat, and I will give you a gift."
1 Kings 13:7
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Disobedience can be fatal!
Here in 1 Kings 13 we have this fascinating but somewhat disturbing account of a man of God who in the beginning is used by God but then is killed by God. This man of God who is not named in this account is used by God to confront Jeroboam who has sinned greatly against God by making gold calves which he himself is making sacrifices to and leading the people to do likewise. God is very upset with Jeroboam and so sends this man of God to speak forth a prophecy to him.
God tells this man of God to speak forth the prophecy and then to return home. God protects the man of God from the anger of Jeroboam. Jeroboam recognizes the Spirit of God upon this man of God and so invites him back to his palace for food and gifts. The man of God was told by God not eat any food or drink while he was on this mission and so he refuses the offer and returns home by a different route as he was instructed.
Then an old prophet of Bethel comes to the man of God and lies to him and convinces him to come to his home for food and drink. The man of God is told while at the table that he has disobeyed God and that his body would not be buried with his relatives. As he gets back on the road he is killed by a lion. We see the supernatural aspect of this as we read that the lion and the donkey stood by the body until the old prophet came to get it. This doesn’t seem fair. After all the old prophet lied to the man of God.
The reason why this offends our sense of fairness is because we are likely to have done the same thing. God’s instructions to this man of God were clear. Do not eat, do not drink, and do not stay. He was told to do his job and get back to his home. He was probably tired, hungry, and thirsty. He chose to disobey God.
Often God’s instructions to us are as clear as these were to the man of God. But often we will allow our flesh to offer us a different interpretation of God’s instructions. God can only use us effectively if we are following His instructions exactly. When we start allowing our flesh to determine what we do with God’s instructions, we are removing ourselves from God’s provision and protection.
As men and women of God we must see God’s instructions as absolute. We must determine to do things to the best of our understanding exactly the way that God said for us to do it. Anything else is disobedience and brings the risk of punishment. Jesus, help us to ‘don’t’ when you say ‘don’t’ and to ‘go’ when you say ‘go’.