1 Kings 13:21-25 “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, but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place which the LORD said to you, “Eat no bread, drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’ “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. 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. 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.”
When you read through 1 Kings 13 there are a lot of weird events taking place. Hands being then shrivled and healed, old prophets lying to God’s man, altars being split apart. A donkey standing with a lion and a corpse. Seriously, people, this is interesting to read, but the bottom line deals with disobedience and consequences. It is one of those stories that you want to paint a picture of it in your head so that you can soak in all the details.
The man of God gave a word about an altar that was being built that would have men’s bones burned on it as a sacrifice. God was not pleased about the altar being built and the idolatry and apostasy, so he sent his man from Judah to go tell the king it was wrong and not to do it and if he did what would happen, so the man of God gave a sign and the altar split apart and the ashes on it poured out. The kind was angry and wanted to arrest the prophet, but when he stretched out his arm to give the command for the arrest his hand withered, but the man of God interceded and asked the Lord to restore the Kings hand, and the Lord did. o
Well, the King offered bread and water at his palace to the man of God, but God commanded the prophet not to eat or drink and so he declined the offer and left. As he was resting an Old Prophet came to him and offered him bread and water, but the man of God refused, saying, God had told him not to eat or drink, but the old prophet lied to the man of God and said God had sent him and told him it was okay to come with him to his home and eat and drink, so the man of God went and did just that. Because the man of God accepted he is threatened with death. After he gets on his donkey and starts on his way a lion comes and kills him and this is where we started our story. Imagine this a lion has killed this man, but not carried him away to eat him. The donkey is also still intact not having been eaten or even harmed by the lion. They are both standing next to the corpse and now men are passing by apparently unafraid of the lion and seeing what has been done. This lion was sent by God to do one thing and he did just that, no harm was to come to the donkey or those who passed by. What? God can control the natural desires of a lion, why yes friend he can! There is absolutely nothing, I mean nothing that is outside of God’s sovereign hand. We like to think there is, but there is NOTHING!! It would do us well to remember it.
All of this because the man of God disobeyed what he had been instructed not to do. There are always consequences when we make the decision to disobey what we know God has told us not to do. And yes, sometimes it is even to death. Seems harsh by our standards doesn’t it, to be killed all because you had a little bread and water, but God does not like being disobeyed when he gives us a direct word. We cannot understand the mind of God, we walk by faith obedient to his will and way, and when we are not, we will have consequences. Does this mean we lose our salvation, no, it means that God loves us too much to let us roam around in disobedience?He loves us enough to want to discipline us and grow us. Now, I cannot say for sure that God has taken a life because of disobedience nowadays, but I can safely say I am pretty sure he has, we are not privy to it as they were way back when. We often miss what is going on because we think it was all for then and now God is our friend and he sees sin as we do, (we see it as not so bad,) so we have no need to fear. Wrong! God hates our sin, He is still Holy, He still says we must obey his word and He still punishes sin and wrong.
Anyway, I found this story fascinating, it was a good reminder that God does not turn his head away while we are disobedient and He still desires that we walk in obedience and holiness. None of which we can do if we are doing it on our own and leaving God out of it. We need to be fully surrendered, laying our desires at his feet and asking for his help to faithfully walk this earth until he either returns for us or calls us home!