Better to Obey
by Priscilla Van Sutphin
In this text, I am seeking to expose some misunderstandings that have been perpetrated about prophecy from old testament "rules" to new testament "rules". The Lord entreated me when I wrote this to teach on 1 Kings 13 that the youth especially would need this. There has been a grave error in the teaching of some. They have perpetrated a gospel of exclusivity, by which they can maintain their hold on the place and position they hold in the church as if God wanted them to have fame and position.
In many circles of church organization and influence there has crept this hierarchal philosophy of how Old Testament prophets are done away with, and now we have the New Testament prophets, therefore God doesn't speak the way He did in the Old Testament anymore. This has brought great distress to many new prophets of this age, and has kept them from the fullness of realizing their purpose and place in Christ. The Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of JESUS. We are to smell like Him, talk like Him, walk like Him, sound like Him be crucified of flesh like Him, be generous like Him, loving like Him, outspoken like Him. There were MANY different types of prophets in the Old testament and in the New.
And this teaching that God does not move the same way as before is contrary to biblical scriptures. Yes, when He Who is Prophecy comes again as it says in 1 Corinthians 13, there will be no need for prophecy. Old things will pass away. That was written AFTER Jesus ascended...so HE has not come yet again. Therefore it still is for us today. Also, God is the SAME it says, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And the people who teach this doctrine of demons, have not released, as they should, the beautiful young prophets, and prophetesses that are sitting in our congregations whom GOD wants to use greatly, to speak to the overall church and to the world.
The apostles produced apostles like Stephen the first martyr. The prophets should also reproduce themselves, instead of idolizing the limelight so they can make themselves rich in fame, power, and position, established in the church. The goal of Christ is CREATIVE and active, and is to make a prophetic end times people ! How do we know this ? Because scripture tells us in so many ways; it says in Joel 2:28-30 KJV
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
Our thinking has become so set in seeing things as we are taught that we barely can think for ourselves. So many rely on what is taught in the pulpit, without knowing the Word for themselves, the Living Word, or the Logos. I have a revelation. Agabus, was NOT the only new testament prophet ! Peter was a prophet and apostle. How else would he have known that Ananias and Sapphira kept money back, if he had not heard it prophetically?
God TOLD HIM ! And the words he spoke, were implemented immediately in true prophetic fashion, like what happens in the 13th chapter of 1 Kings 13 which we are about to delve into. The only difference between old and new testament prophets, is the age of the dispensation of GRACE ! We have the indwelling Holy Spirit therefore more of us can hear now, than in the old testament for we have direct access through Jesus !
But God's ways are limitless, and that is unchanging. He can act and do whatever HE wants, and use whomever HE wants. I am not trying to teach rebellion against authority. God established His authority, not based on man's predisposition to organize everything, but on His SOVREIGN will ! He is NOT a regarder of persons. He is not prejudiced. He will use whomever HE wants to use, and if He can use an 8 year old king in the Old testament like Josiah, or a donkey to speak to Balaam, then He will continue this same pattern when it suits HIM !
He knows the nature of our old man is stubborn, and self-willed. So He will do what HE wants to do, not what we think He should do, or how WE think He should act. He is not a God of formulas and pigeon-holing. He does not pigeonhole us into a place and say this is all YOU can do. He will do whatever is best for us in any situation. He so loves His people, that whatever it takes, that He will do. And He alone is the ONE to be exalted!
John and Peter came up against some unbelievers in the book of Acts who told them not to speak, and they proclaimed that if they did not speak, the ROCKS would cry out. They were not controlled by man, whether it was in the church or out of it. They yielded themselves fully to GOD alone. FEAR had no place in them. They did not fear losing their ministries or position in the church. They did not fear losing their homes. They laid it all down at HIS feet.
Everything they were and desired, was given into the hands of Christ Jesus. They DIED to what they wanted, and lived alone for the kingdom and Christ Jesus. People respected them, for they saw the innate authority given them by GOD. They had nothing to prove. They'd laid everything down. God was their defense and high tower, their ever present help in time of need. They had this confidence because they KNEW Him. When I say KNEW Him, I mean that they had relationship with Him The word knew in the old testament was a term of intimacy between a man and a woman. So I use this as Christ wants that same relationship of being intimate with His BRIDE.
In first Kings there is a story that brings some clarity to what I am saying. And I hope as this is conveyed that the eyes of your understanding are opened. I am not exalting anarchy or disorder only promoting GOD's order of things. In some circles, even God if He was sitting there, He would not get a word in edge-wise, because of MAN's ordained order. Our flesh is so proned to doing what it has already done. What has already been done, is about to die in the TRUE church. Christ JESUS must be the pre-eminent One, not our agendas, and our 6-7 song plan.
1 Kings 13:1-3 NKJ
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 first mistake this prophet makes is not being sure that God had his name written in the bible ! In many places, if a no name prophet came sent from God, and began to do such a thing as is described here, he would be immediately escorted out by security guards and taken to jail or a sanitarium before his message even got spoken out! There is an unwritten rule in many churches "do not speak out in the congregation." And if this had been a woman, oh Lord! She would be stoned or shot-whatever! Jeroboam was an evil king. Now I think kings in general get more respect than pastors.
So here is this "LONE RANGER" prophet coming in and disturbing the unsanctified offering of Jeroboam by laying hold of the altar and speaking to the altar this prophecy which eventually was fulfilled some 356 years later ! The nerve of him to come in and disrupt a service, and disrespect a "king" to speak the word of the Lord! The king did not even KNOW him for 6 months yet, to know whether his character was in keeping with traditional requirements for prophets ! And if he had been a Hosea married to a prostitute, for SURE the church today would have nothing to do with him ! And if he had had a reputation like Isaiah for unclothing himself and running around town naked for 3 years, or like Ezekial for being so lazy as to lay on his side for a year and then almost another several months, and eatting his food cooked with dung coals, OI Vey ! Would he have been in even MORE trouble. These guys surely had a penchant for the finer ways of life n'est pas? They were surely an uncouth group.
And herein is the reason we don't like this stuff from the old testament. We like things neat and clean, organized and controllable. We don't like anyone upsetting the status quo, not even the Most Holy Spirit of God who is supposed to rule and reign in our churches. Let's see what happens next.
1 Kings 13:4-7
4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 5 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. 6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. 7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
Isn't this a great story? Now we see the king wanting to grab this guy, and when they try, wham, the Lord comes to his defense ! Jeraboam's hand withers and I'm sure that was pretty uncomfortable being an ex-nurse, and does this idolator repent? NOOOO! He begs for the prophet to plead with God for his hand back to it's normal condition without an apology you notice. But being the godly prophet this man is, he begs mercy for the ungrateful and God restores his hand. This too is the sterling character of a true prophet of God. They do not desire vengeance on their enemies, but are full of the mercies of God. Can't say the same for my actions in the history of my life in Christ. I have been, at times, more like the apostles who wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy the inhabitants of a town. This dysfunctional king then wants to reward the prophet, not to repent so much, but to thank him for his kindness with which the Lord , as His true Friend, responded to his pleas for mercy. Isn't this good ? Next.....
1 Kings 13:8-10 KJV
8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: 9 For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. 10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
Thus far this prophet is looking real good. He seems bent on the performance of God's word alone, and that is a big temptation, to not receive the riches from the wealthy king, and especially for prophets these days would that be a BIG temptation! I remember Rheinhard Bonnke relating such an experience where a woman wanted to offer 1 million dollars to his ministry, but the Lord told him NO. He obeyed and has never regretted it, nor been without what he needed. Now it gets MORE interesting............
1 Kings 13:11-17 KJV
11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. 12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. 13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, 14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. 15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. 16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17 For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
Now the scriptures call this man an "old prophet" so we must assume he was that. And he goes to offer the prophet food and rest, and the prophet seems again to be unmovable. But then, something happens which has been happening a lot in the church today......
1 Kings 13:18 KJV 18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
He says "I am a prophet as thou art', which should have caused some discernment in the younger prophet as; if he was indeed a prophet, as HE was, he would have gotten perhaps the word of the Lord for Jeroboam, if he had been all that he was cracking up to be. Perhaps he would have confronted Jeroboam in his sin of defiling the House of God and all Israel. Then, HE LIES saying an angel sent him, which I'm sure is true, but what kind ; more like an angel of darkness. Perhaps this old prophet had fallen into complacency and hopelessness or had gotten tired of not seeing change in what was going on and felt defeated, or maybe he was a false prophet to begin with, or just had wanted the anointing that he heard the young prophet demonstrated. This IS the character of the "Harlot" church to want the power, but not the cost. So guard your hearts young prophets! Do not be deceived by kind words that control !
1 Kings 13:19-23 KJV
19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. 20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: 21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
Herein is the lesson of the Lord. DO not believe everyone who says they are a prophet! Stop and ask the Lord (dependence on God) Is this person who he says he is ? Should I listen to what he says ? Have You changed your mind Lord ? WE MUST learn reliance on GOD above man. Anyone can give you a word. There are no licenses for "prophets". There are 3 sources of information possible to hear from...actually 4 possibilities a) We are hearing from God. b) We are hearing the enemy. c) We are hearing our own flesh. d) We are hearing the enemy working for God, as a test of your heart.
The word of the Lord came to this older prophet. Maybe he hadn't heard it in a while, but it came. So, did God allow this old man to lie to the prophet as a test of whether he would obey God over man ? I don't know! We know all scripture is for our edification so God is trying to tell us something here. One is that we CAN be deceived. Two is that what we know we hear from God is more important than listening to MAN. Three is do not bow to the fear or intimidation of man.
Some trust in chariots, and some trust in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord ! He also did not it would seem ask God for confirmation of what the old man said. This can get us way off track into a detour. We can survive a detour and God will not be angry if we really thought it was a word from Him. We will recover. But if we will become sooooo dependent on HIM over what we think, or what others think, or what others say, that IS the place to be in HIM.
Micaiah saw this in 1 Kings 22:15-22 (Jehoshaphat is king) 15 So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 16 And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD? 17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. 18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?
19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And He said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
I remember Jack Deere, once said in a foundations class, "The greatest deception of all is to think that you can't be deceived." We are taught by scripture to "Lean NOT on our own understanding , but in all of your ways, acknowledge HIM, and He will make your path straight." There are times when we can be let to go astray, that the Lord can bring repentance in our hearts, to show us when we are too religious and haughty; that we too, can be reduced to nothing, if we rely on our own strength and righteousness, instead of God's. For my own self, I cannot get away with anything with the Lord anymore without Him bringing swift correction, for the most part.
If I start to get prideful and judge anyone, I can count on a spiritual spanking from my Father in heaven, which is always more merciful than the beating that people might like to give to me. He'll let me go so far and then boom comes the hand of His wonderful justice it is His love greatly provoked which brings His correction. His correction is for me as a woman at least usually gentle and kind, NEVER angry and intimidating, sometimes even humorous. What would we be if He let us go on in our delusion or deception?
We would gradually become more hardened in our hearts and apart from Him. So here this prophet Michaiah actually sees a vision of the throne room of God and God deliberating on how to bring justice to Ahab. And a spirit comes forth and says he will be a lying spirit in the ears of Ahabs prophets. (who were false prophets by the way..which means they sometimes were right.that really blows our theology!) See the devil knows information on us but they [false prophets] are not getting their information from God) And this spirit goes down to confuse them and to mess up their information. King David also had a problem with a lying spirit.
1 Chron 21:1-15 NKJV
1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, "Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it." 3 And Joab answered, "May the LORD make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel ?" [ his own leader tries to talk sense to him ] 4 Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem.
5 Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword. 6 But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king's word was abominable to Joab. 7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. 8 So David said to God, "I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly."
9 And the LORD spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying, 10"Go and tell David, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you." 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Choose for yourself, 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the LORD--the plague in the land, with the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me."
13 And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man." 14 So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the LORD looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, "It is enough; now restrain your hand."
I know, you're thinking. "That isn't fair that God would punish the people when it was David who committed the sin lots of lessons in this scripture ! "
1) It is Satan himself wanting to take out a few for his kingdom and destroy David at the same time. 2) David does not discern perhaps he'd grown a bit prideful with all his favor. 3) We are also accountable for our leaders. God may have chosen leaders in those days, but today it is not always so, just like when Jesus came, many had bought their ways into the priesthood.
God is supposed to be head of our churches and we are to be accountable to one another. A pastorship is NOT a dictatorship, run by one man. We are accountable when we see someone stumbling to lift him up, and moreover we are to pray in the first place for our leaders. Perhaps the children of Israel were failing on that account too and therefore received the discipline. WE ARE THE CHURCH. The pastor is not the church. We are accountable to one another and the weakest it says in Corinthians is also necessary. It is to be a living breathing organism like our own body. One part cannot run the whole thing. It takes working together. When we give all the authority to the pastor and don't live up to our own responsibility and relationship to him we are practicing idolatry, and neglect towards the house of God. And when one sins the others suffer. That IS why so many are sick today. The church is so idolatrous, many are suffering in their bodies for the sake of the church like Paul said in Colossians 1:24.
Let's go back to 1 Kings 13.
1 Kings 13:23-32
24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass. 25 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcass cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcass: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him. 27 And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him. 28 And he went and found his carcass cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcass: the lion had not eaten the carcass, nor torn the ass. 29 And the prophet took up the carcass of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid his carcass in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! 31 And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: 32 For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass. ( I've changed the spelling of carcase to carcass for young readers)
Well this is fascinating. Who wouldn't take a second look at a lion just standing next to it's prey, and the body it just killed ? This was for a sign and a wonder. A wonder makes you wonder John Wimber used to say ! This would make me wonder. I'm sure it spread all over Israel. God uses all kinds of ways to say things. An ass, or donkey often is symbolic for stubborness and self-will. Lions can be good...as a symbol of our Lion of Judah, or as a symbol of satan as the devouring lion. When I look at this I see a miracle in the sense of the animals behavior being controlled by God and yet God gave man a choice. And we don't always want to listen to Him even though He has been so kind as to make us able to make choices, instead of being robots of His devotion.
I see a miracle in the sense that God honored this prophet even in his death of judgement, by not having him desecrated because he was dutiful to go for Him when He said go and he performed most of his duties, but not also he lost his life for it. God was merciful in a way. And the old prophet knows it, he sees this, and he takes the body back and tells his sons "bury my bones with his when I die as his word will surely come true." Why was he convinced? When he knew the prophet disobeyed and ate ?
1) the sign of the altar splitting, and 2) God performed His word following the old prophet's word of judgement. And 3) The ass and the lion sign. He too saw God's mercy and handprint on this. And he thinks some how to gain favor by having his bones buried with the younger's. It would seem, that if the prophet came with no donkey, on foot, and God told him not to accept gifts, perhaps the ass stands for what we hold onto the most, and that is our COMFORT. There is an obvious lesson here in that we must obey God rather than man or the devourer will have place in our lives. We must give him no place! GRACE is the ONLY way we can have overcoming grace to be and do all that He wants us to be and do. Power to change our lives and heal us so we can obey. This we get by entering the "throne room", coming into His presence.
The stubbornness of our "but I want to do this" and our "But" anything will get us devoured in the end so we must become FLEXIBLE to His will alone, not ours, not the desire of other men and women. God did not give us a spirit of bondage to fear of man but a spirit of ADOPTION by which we can cry out "Abba Father". We are not to be bound to the will of other people. In order to have UNITY we must have our FIRST love in place for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and we MUST LISTEN to GOD and do what HE wants first and foremost. It will not be popular, as the enemy of conformity is prevalent in traditions of men. But I believe this generation of teens that will be birthed into the kingdom, will not bow to conformity and fear of man, but to God. We must not see this as rebellion when it is only rebellion to our control.
We want to make them in our image when we are not conformed to HIS image and likeness. That is a very sad state of affairs in the church today. Let's spend time with our Beloved, so that we may see through our Father's eyes this generation being raised up, and ALLOW them to move and breathe and do what GOD wants them to do.
Priscilla Van Sutphin
Matthew Henry's Notes: excerpts "a prophet of Judah is, instead thereof, sent to reclaim him from his evil way, and is sent in time, while he is but dedicating his altar, before his heart is hardened by the deceitfulness of his sin; for God delights not in the death of sinners, but would rather they would burn and live. How bold was the messenger that dared attack the king in his pride and interrupt the solemnity he was proud of! Those that go on God's errand must not fear the face of man; they know who will bear them out. How kind was he that sent him to warn Jeroboam of the wrath of God revealed from heaven against his ungodliness and unrighteousness! It's God's grace to warn us."
. "Yet, in threatening the altar, God threatened the founder and worshippers, to whom it was as dear as their own souls, and who might conclude, "If God's wrath fasten upon the lifeless guiltless altar, how shall we escape?" "That this should be done by a branch of the house of David. That family which he and his kingdom had despised and treacherously deserted should recover so much power as to demolish that altar which he thought to establish; so that right and truth should at length prevail, both in civil and sacred matters, notwithstanding the present triumphs of those that were given to change the fear both of God and the king. It was about 356 years ere this prediction was fulfilled,"
.." A sign is given for the confirming of the truth of this prediction, that the altar should be shaken to pieces by an invisible power and the ashes of the sacrifice s attered (v. 3), which came to pass immediately, v. 5. This was,
1. A proof that the prophet was sent of God, who confirmed the word with this sign following, Mark 16:20. 2. A present indication of God's displeasure against these idolatrous sacrifices. How could the gift be acceptable when the altar that should sanctify it was an abomination?
3. It was a reproach to the people, whose hearts were harder than these stones and rent not under the word of the Lord.
4. It was a specimen of what should be done to it in the accomplishment of this prophecy by Josiah; it was now rent, in token of its being then ruined."
." Rebuke a sinner and he will hate thee, and do thee a mischief if he can; yet God's prophets must rather expose themselves than betray their trust: he that employs them will protect them, and restrain the wrath of man, as he did Jeroboam's here by withering his hand, so that he could neither hurt the prophet nor draw it in to help himself. When his hand was stretched out to burn incense to his calves it was not withered; but, when it is stretched out against a prophet, he shall have no use of it till he humble himself. Of all the wickedness of the wicked there is none more provoking to God than their malicious attempts against his prophets, of whom he has said, Touch them not, do them no harm." ."That word of God which should have touched his conscience humbled him not, but this which touched his bone and his flesh brings down his proud spirit." ." Those only are entitled to the blessing Christ pronounced on the persecuted that learn of him to pray for their persecutors, Matt 5:10,44."
.." The old prophet's wickedness. I cannot but call him a false prophet and a bad man, it being much easier to believe that from one of such a bad character should be extorted a confirmation of what the man of God said (as we find, v. 32) than that a true prophet, and a good man, should tell such a deliberate lie as he did, and father it upon God. A good tree could never bring forth such corrupt fruit. Perhaps he was trained up among the sons of the prophets, in one of Samuel's colleges not far off, whence he retained the name of a prophet, but, growing worldly and profane, the spirit of prophecy had departed from him. If he had been a good prophet he would have reproved Jeroboam's idolatry, and not have suffered his sons to attend his altars, as, it should seem, they did."
" Here is, I. The death of the deceived disobedient prophet. The old prophet that had deluded him, as if he would make him some amends for the wrong he had done him or help to prevent the mischief threatened him, furnished him with an ass to ride home on; but by the way a lion set upon him, and killed him, v. 23, 24."