One preaching the truth will never contradict what God has already said. In this text an old prophet claims an angel had instructed him to minister to the man of God. Even though this conflicted with God’s original instructions (13:21) the man of God gave into the older prophet’s words. This old prophet is a good example of one Jesus would call a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-16). These wolves still prowl around today, therefore Christians must always strive to go back to the Bible, God’s original instruction. Paul instructed the Galatians, “…even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8-9). Even though the man of God was deceived (the prophet had flat out lied to him) he was still held accountable for his actions. We have instructions from God and like the man of God in the story; we too are accountable unto God.
Always strive to wholly follow God. We must remember that partial obedience is disobedience. The man of God is to be praised for his good start; however, a good start doesn’t mean anything if you do not finish the race. The Lord has said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). The promise is to those who persevere! Caleb is an example of a man of God who finished strong. It is said of him, he “wholly followed the Lord” (Joshua 14:8; Deut. 1:36; Num. 32:12). Faithful men and women will seek to finish the race. We must not obey what is convenient or popular, but seek to wholly follow God.
- Josh Allen (Pikeville, KY)