Ever read the Bible and found some stories rather confusing or just not right? Like the man (a Levite) in the book of Judges (see Chapter 19) whose concubine was raped and abused all night by the city’s agberos while he did absolutely nothing. In fact, it is recorded that the men actually came for the Levite but their host decided that his daughter or the man’s concubine should be abused in place of the Levite. And so it was that the Levite’s concubine was handed over to be raped instead of her husband (not that rape against him would have been better).
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To think that he was supposed to be her protector! By the way, I’m not by any means suggesting that God is unjust or that it was His will for the woman to be brutally raped like she was while her husband did nothing to protect her. I personally believe that this story is God’s way of pointing out to us that even people of that age were all flawed human beings like every one of us today; selfish, misogynistic and inherently wicked if left to our own devices. God intends for husbands to protect their wives and love them just like Christ loves the Church and even gave Himself for her (see Ephesians 5:25). Meanwhile, this story is for another day.
Today, however, I want to talk about a certain portion of scripture I came across the other day and how it relates to us today. Tucked away in the pages of the Bible (see 1 Kings 13), the story is told of a man of God who was sent by God to king Jeroboam to deliver a message. After he gave the king his message (albeit unfavourable) he went on his way. God had expressly instructed him not to eat or drink anything in that city or even go back by the way he came (v.9). He even refused to accept the gifts the king offered him, insisting that God warned him not to. However, as he journeyed, an old prophet accosted him.
His sons had told him about the amazing things the man of God had done in the city that day and the prophecy he gave to the king. The old prophet, out of curiosity, I suppose went to seek the man of God out. He invited him over for lunch but the younger man of God told him of God’s instruction to him not to eat or drink anything in that city neither was he to return back by the way he first came.
Nevertheless, the old prophet pressured him and even lied to him that an angel sent him to invite him over to his house and give him some food to eat. Upon hearing this, the younger man went with the old prophet without first inquiring from the Lord if he should. Ironically, after he had eaten bread and drank water at the old prophet’s house, a message came from the Lord by the old prophet for the younger man of God. Here’s an excerpt of what the old prophet said:
21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”
The moment he left the old prophet’s house, a lion attacked him on the way and killed him. This is one of the saddest stories I ever read in the Bible. Even sadder still is the fact that it is commonplace amongst us today. How many times has God spoken to us specifically and directly about an issue only for us to be detoured by someone we consider more ‘spiritual’?
With too many people claiming to be servants of God and carriers of the Spirit of God, it has never been so vital for everyone to know God and His Word for themselves so as not to be led astray. I know that there is a place for spiritual guidance and consultation with elders and leaders but we should be discerning. The Bible says we are to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and not to man.
Many times, people, myself included hear God instruct them to do or not to something but would still go and run it by some other person who is most likely to discourage them. However, when we begin to experience the unpleasant consequences of our disobedience, that person would not be there to share in our suffering. Indeed, some might even have the nerve to blame you (hahaha).
The same is applicable to our dreams and visions. We must carefully guard our aspirations from the old prophets we would encounter along the way. Who are old prophets, you might be wondering, well, they are people who once had the fire of vision burning in their hearts but who allowed a myriad of things that life would always bring, quench their fire.
They have now become cynical and bitter. Your big dreams, passion and excitement serve as a painful reminder of who they once were. Some might, out of malice, try to scorn you out of chasing your God-given dreams. Still, the others might genuinely believe that your dreams are unattainable because, well, they tried it one time and it did not work. Always, always go check again with the One who put that dream in your heart. It’s His opinion that counts the most in your life’s journey.
Have you met any old prophets on your journey? Do share your experiences in the comments section below, and remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update.
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About The Author: Jacqueline is a lawyer as well as a PR professional. She is also mom, to two energetic soldiers who constantly keep her on her toes, until they fall asleep. In her spare time, she loves to sing and is also an aspiring writer. Connect with her on Instagram with @zeerrific1.