Lessons from The Man with No Name

The Unknown man from God

I Kings 13

“and behold a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Bethel.  

In this story we have a man sent by God, A lying prophet and a major lesson for us all. 

The man is not given a name why?
My study bible says that the phrase “by the word of the Lord” is repeated seven times.
that number is the number of completion to God.
and it emphasis that the man of God was functioning at the command of God and yielding God’s power. 

The king at the time was Jeroboam.  Obviously he was not following Gods ways.  
read the whole story:

1 Kings 13New King James Version (NKJV)
The Message of the Man of God
13 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. 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.’” 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.”
So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Arrest him!” Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself. The altar also was split apart, 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. Then the king answered and said to the man of God, “Please entreat the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.”
So the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and became as before. Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”
But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.
Death of the Man of God
11 Now an old prophet dwelt in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; they also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king. 12 And their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” For his sons had seen[a] which way the man of God went who came from Judah. 13 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it, 14 and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. Then he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”
And he said, “I am.
15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”
16 And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. 17 For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’”
18 He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him.)
19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.
20 Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the Lord said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’”
23 So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse. 25 And there, men passed by and saw the corpse thrown on the road, and the lion standing by the corpse. Then they went and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
26 Now when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the Lord. Therefore the Lord has delivered him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.” 27 And he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled it. 28 Then he went and found his corpse thrown on the road, and the donkey and the lion standing by the corpse. The lion had not eaten the corpse nor torn the donkey. 29 And the prophet took up the corpse of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back. So the old prophet came to the city to mourn, and to bury him. 30 Then he laid the corpse in his own tomb; and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” 31 So it was, after he had buried him, that he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I am dead, then bury me in the tomb where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the saying which he cried out by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel, and against all the shrines[b] on the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, will surely come to pass.”
33 After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. 34 And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth.

©salzanos 2016

That even tho this evil king tried to have the man of God arrested , God cursed his hand that held the accusing finger.  But who does this king  cry out for help to?  The man sent from God.  Why ?  Because this king KNOWS  God did it!.  and in mercy this man of God yielding God’s power to heal , heals the kings hand.  The sign he was sent to do to the alter does happen too.  
Next you see the command God gave this man sent to Bethel included some DO NOT DO things.  He was not to eat or drink or come back the way he went after wards.  

But here is where things are interesting.  Another man who is listed as a prophet , and old prophet comes after this man sent from God. Why?  and what does he do, he lies to the him!!
He says He has been sent a message supposedly from a angel and says he is like him (sent  from GOD).  So what does our un-named man from God do? He believes him!

After this the man from God goes with the old prophet and eats.  Here he had withstood Jeroboams attempt to go against what God said, but with this man he disobeys God’s direct command.  So he pays with his life for disobedience.  A lion meets him on the road and kills him but Does NOT eat him.  Obviously sent from God to kill him.  Because the donkey and the lion just stand there by the dead body.  

My thoughts on lessons from this chapter:
  1. First we must never listen to someone else over what God has clearly told us to do.  Not our own human reasonings or someone claiming to know what they think we should do or even claiming GOD told them to tell us.  GOD is perfectly able to tell us to do otherwise if He wants too.  If God does not- we keep right on doing what we heard from God in the beginning and to the the letter!
  2. Notice that the old prophet had not stood and condemned Jeroboams actions before so he must be a false or lax prophet of God. Luke warm, and without a close relationship to God.
  3. Why would the man of God believe that false prophet?  This was big to me. I believe he believed him because he was insecure in his faith and belief in what God commanded him. How often do we second guess our calling or purpose because we are not BOLD and CONFIDENT in the word of God.  We are lax, lazy, timid, fearful.  We must cry out to God to heal us and lift us up past this!!  Be decisive and BOLD.  We pray and we seek God daily and through this we must act like a leader and not as a underdog.  Stick to the plan.  STAND at the  house of the Lamb.  This denotes strength found in trusting completely in Jesus Christ!  The reason this man has NO NAME is because of his unbelief. He started out ok but failed.  Thus his name was stricken from the books.  However I believe God has forgiven him and this man will live again and this time without Satan to temp him in fear and weakness.  God is very merciful but he will not be one of the first fruits and that is just my opinion as a human with what I understand at this point. 
  4. As for the other man. Whose  lies cost this man his life.  He was very sad to see what his actions had done.  Taken a innocent life. Not only that but a true follower of God’s word. Weak as he was.  God lead him to know his sins. 
  5. Through all this and the signs that came to pass the king did not change one bit. He kept on sinning before God. BUT God knew he would not before He sent the man of God. So what was the point?  The point is each of stand or fall before God by what we decide to believe. We act on true belief in God’s word or we do not.  Then at some point will come the judgment of God upon each person for their own deeds.  

Thus the word of God has gone out to all nations around the world and first of all to those nations that claim to be followers of God.  The judgment is coming quickly.  Our time to stand with God is now.  There is no more time to be like the old prophet and sit there and do or say nothing.  Or can we be like the man sent from God who did not complete the task and do exactly what God commanded him.  Yes there is one more important lesson.  

Remember this.  What God is asking you to do now may be to save you later.  This man was told NOT to eat or drink nothing!!  If he had done that the temptation of the old prophet would not have condemned him.  He would have safely left and lived to stand at the house of the Lord our God.  God knew the danger that lurked ahead for him so gave him that unusual command.  May we be so blessed to hear God clearly and do it!  

©salzanos 2016

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