These days I like telling stories, don’t I? Listen to this one;
There was a certain king in Israel, his name was Jeroboam. He approached the altar to burn incense to one of his idols, and a prophet of the Lord walked up to him, “…and he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord…” 1 Kings 13:1-2
A quick note there, if you sin, trespass, transgress – quickly confess! Never continue with unconfessed sins; don’t wait for God to send you his word in order to rebuke, worse if he sends you ‘a man of God or prophet, they don’t mince their words!
And, behold, there came a man of God: this could be anyone, an unfamiliar voice. I hear people say, how is it that there are many prophets these day, there used to be fewer prophets? That’s a lie from hell. God has always had a people!
Anyway in the story an unfamiliar prophet, (man of God) came and delivered an unusual prophecy to the foolish king. After he prophesied he gave this proof that his message was from the Lord; “Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.” 1 Kings 13:3
The king was very angry with the prophet for saying this and he shouted to his guards, “Arrest that man!” and shook his fist at him. The bible says instantly the king’s arm became paralyzed in that position; he couldn’t pull it back again! “The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.” 1 Kings 13:5
Anyway, the king cried out to the prophet to ask God to restore his arm again. So he prayed to the Lord, and the king’s arm became normal again.
Now, after that “the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward” 1 Kings 13:7. But the man of God refused, and listen to what he said, “Even if you gave me half your palace, I wouldn’t go into it; nor would I eat or drink even water in this place! For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord.”
What would you do if it was you? I know what you would do because even today your pastors have fallen for it; nearly each one of them, none has walked away from gifts.
But the man of God said, “For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord.” Weren’t it also charged you? The man of God, (the prophet) should be under strict orders to not receive gifts.
Jeroboam quickly embraces the man of God as a friend – I will give you a reward: Nowadays, false prophets also embraces back presidents as their friends. Jeroboam wanted to refresh and reward him, without any repentance from the sin the man of God had denounced. I’ve seen false teachers rewarded with mines and farms for votes swayed towards corrupt politicians.
But here the man of God refused the invitation, based on a prior warning from God. To accept Jeroboam’s invitation would demonstrate fellowship with his idolatry. I wish our pastors would learn from this, and not walk in disobedience.