by Theodore Wright.
Who was the man of God who came from Judah?
Let me tell you that near him is NOT the Lion of the tribe of Judah, although this lion was from very close to there. Still, the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Messiah Y’shua) did send him.
From 1 Kings, chapter 13…
And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2 Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.’” 3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the LORD has spoken: Surely the altar shall split apart, and the ashes on it shall be poured out.”
The man of God who came from Judah faithfully gave the word of the LORD.
Why would he be slain in the road by a lion sent from God?
4 So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Arrest him!” Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself. 5 The altar also was split apart, 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. 6 Then the king answered and said to the man of God, “Please entreat the favor of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God entreated the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and became as before. 7 Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”
We can see that the man of God who came from Judah bravely gave a word of judgment from God upon the altar where the King of Israel was present. God moved with quick judgment upon the king for resisting His word. The man of God who came from Judah healed the king in the name of the LORD.
8 But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. 9 For so it was commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.
It is evident that the man of God who came from Judah was not interested in even a reward from the King of Israel but was interested only to be obedient to the word of the LORD.
11 Now an old prophet dwelt in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; they also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king. 12 And their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” For his sons had seen which way the man of God went who came from Judah. 13 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it, 14 and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. Then he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” 15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”
Clearly for the man of God who came from Judah to return the old prophet’s home to eat bread would be in disobedience to the word of the LORD. He knew this, therefore, he replied…
16 And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. 17 For I have been told by the word of the LORD, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’”
The old prophet was eager to have the man of God who came from Judah to return with him, therefore, he responded…
18 He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him.)
So what did the man of God who came from Judah do?
19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.
The man of God who came from Judah knew well enough to obey the word of LORD when he was with the King of Israel who wanted to reward the prophet. Then later, the man of God disobeys the LORD for bread and water? WHAT WENT WRONG?
Also, who was this man of God who came from Judah?
20 Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD, and have not kept the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you, 22 but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the LORD said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’”
How would have you reacted if this was you? At this point, I could have imagined the man of God of Judah saying to the old prophet,
23 So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back.
Hold on a minute! After the man of God from Judah received this word of God’s judgment pronounced upon him that he still kept eating and drinking?
24 When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse. 25 And there, men passed by and saw the corpse thrown on the road, and the lion standing by the corpse. Then they went and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26 Now when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the LORD. Therefore the LORD has delivered him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to him.”
Did the man of God who came from Judah die in judgment years later? No.
Did he did in judgment when he got back to his home in Judah? No.
He died from God’s judgment on the road going back home to Judah just after he left the old prophet’s home.
How did the old prophet refer to the man of God who came from Judah? He called him “the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the LORD”. Wouldn’t you think the old prophet should have rather said, “It is the man of God who I lied to and God killed because I deceived him.”? However, no, he didn’t say that, did he? He placed all the blame on the man of God who came from Judah.
The old prophet was remorseful for what he considered the fault of the man of God who came from Judah. The old prophet takes the saddle again.
27 And he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled it. 28 Then he went and found his corpse thrown on the road, and the donkey and the lion standing by the corpse. The lion had not eaten the corpse nor torn the donkey. 29 And the prophet took up the corpse of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back. So the old prophet came to the city to mourn, and to bury him. 30 Then he laid the corpse in his own tomb; and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” 31 So it was, after he had buried him, that he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I am dead, then bury me in the tomb where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the saying which he cried out by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the shrines on the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, will surely come to pass.”
The lion did not even touch the donkey which the young prophet rose. God sent that lion to slay that man of God who came from Judah.
The old prophet knew the word of the Lord would come to pass who came from this man who disobeyed the LORD. He knew this from the beginning, did he not? Why didn’t this knowledge stop him from his own folly to deceive the man of God who came from Judah?
33 After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. 34 And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth.
The word of God given by the man of God who came from Judah
truly did come to pass.
Still, I ask again the question asked earlier, “WHAT WENT WRONG?”
What went wrong with the man of God who came from Judah?”
He should have known better than to just trust the old prophet’s word when he himself had heard from God differently. The man of God who came from Judah should have asked God Himself something like, “LORD, should I go with this old prophet to eat and drink at his house?” Did he do this? No, he didn’t. The responsibility and fault for this was his own. He could not rightfully blame the old prophet for what he knew himself of what he should not have done. God told Him what to do and what not to do. That should have been enough for him.
Just as we need to, the man of God who came from Judah needed to get the word of the LORD directly from the LORD without receiving a word, which represents God, untested.
Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. – Acts 17:10-11 (NKJV)
Today, we still need to confirm the word of the LORD we hear given by others. We must confirm by the Spirit of God but also the Word of God found in the Holy Scriptures. To do otherwise, would be dangerous folly. Beware if you attend a church that expects you to take its own word superior to that of the Holy Bible!
Blame was not placed upon the old prophet for the error committed here. Blame is historically is placed upon the man of God who came from Judah. So much so that his name is not even remembered in history. Neither was the name of the old prophet remembered for that matter.
Now, back to the first question: Who was the man of God who came from Judah?
He is not called “The man of God who was deceived by the old prophet’s lie and died”.
He is called “The man of God who came from Judah” because he never got back there.
The border of Judah was only such a short distance from Bethel.
Yet, it was much further than the judgment of God which stands at the door.
You are what you do.
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?