BY THE WORD OF THE LORD

Today's devotion from 1 Kings 13.

1 Kings 13 presents a fascinating account surrounding a nameless prophet, Jeroboam, and an old priest. While the narrative may seem out of place, following the events of the lives of David and Solomon, this account is actually a very powerful reminder about the importance of the word of God.

It begins with God calling this nameless prophet to confront the pagan idolatry being practiced by Jeroboam in his kingdom. When the prophet cries out against the sinful practices, the king will have none of it. During the confrontation, the power of God is revealed as the king is stricken and the signs are realized.

Upon witnessing the miraculous work of God, Jeroboam attempts to persuade the prophet to remain with him. However, God had already warned the prophet not to remain and be corrupted by the opulence of court. After explaining that the word of God forbid it, the prophet set out.

It didn't take the story long to make the rounds. It is now that we are introduced to an old prophet. He sought out the young, nameless prophet. During their exchange, the old prophet lies in order to persuade his counterpart to return with him. How does he do this? He lies about the word of God. Pretending that God had given him a message, the old prophet lures the nameless prophet back to him home and ultimately to his death. Sure enough, a real word of God comes to the prophet, the nameless prophet hears the message of condemnation, then loses his life.

What is the point of all of this? It is a reminder of the centrality of the word of God, and the fact that the word of God often travels in tandem with the power of God. The word of God was more powerful than the disobedience of the king, more authoritative than the lies of an old prophet, and too important to take for granted. No one is above the authority of the word of God. Take care that you listen and obey.