Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 13

A lie about what God has spoken

1 Kings 13:18-19

God’s law for a prophet, a holy person who speaks messages from God, is in Deuteronomy 18:20-22. A prophet must not lie about the messages that God has given to him. It is a very serious matter to declare something untrue on God’s behalf.

The old prophet desired very much to invite the holy man from Judah to his home. The holy man explained that God had told him not to accept such an invitation. However, there was a custom not to allow guests simply to leave (for example, Genesis 24:54-56). The host tried to show, sometimes desperately, that he really wanted his guest to stay with him.

That was what happened here. The old prophet insisted that the man from Judah must come to be his guest. When he could not convince him in any other way, the old prophet lied to him. He pretended that an angel (a special servant of God from heaven) had appeared to him with a message from God. So, God had sent him to provide food and water for the holy man, the old prophet said.

The holy man from Judah had come on a long journey without food or water. He probably felt hungry and weak. He knew clearly what God had told him – but still, he preferred to believe what the old prophet was saying.

Paul would later warn Christians not to believe even an angel from heaven who did not declare God’s true message (Galatians 1:8). Of course, God’s holy angels do not lie. So the real meaning is this: God has not sent any angel or spirit - or any prophet – who does not declare God’s true message.

Next part: A prophet's responsibility (1 Kings 13:20-22)


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