We are focused on the king Jeroboam, remember, the one who was in charge of the northern kingdom who took away the people from the son of Solomon, Rehoboam. This king was completely opposed to worshiping the God of Israel and only wanted his people to worship the idols that were surrounding them and their region. A prophet of God came and spoke out against him in a forceful way, telling him that the high places that he built up to worship foreign idols, will be torn down.
The king tried to capture this prophet, but his hand shriveled up and he was mortified by that. I’m struck by what the king does next. He doesn’t ask for protection for his people, rather he is so stuck with focusing on his own problems that he asks for healing for his hand, and not healing for the land. The hand is restored but the prophet has no more time for the king and heads home.
On the way home the prophet was met by another prophet who lies to him and convinces him to come to his house for a meal and water. As a result of his disobedience to God by stopping on the way home, which was encouraged by a prophet who told him he had heard from God but hadn’t, he then returns home and is killed by a lion on the road.
It is so hard to discern what God wants from us and how to know when it is God’s voice speaking to us or the voice of society and culture, or our own desires that are infringing upon our ability to discern the voice of God. This prophet I do not blame, the one who was killed. If you have a colleague who tells you that God has spoke to him and has a new message for you, I guess you do need to check with God to see if it is really from God. But cut the guy a break. Yeah, not so much. At least the prophet who lied was sorry about it. But he doesn’t really suffer any consequences as a result of the lie that took the life of another prophet of God.