Mankind from the garden of Eden believes that they can get out of trouble by blaming someone else for their sins.
In 1 Kings 13, God sent an unnamed man to Jeroboam as a prophet. This man was given specific commands concerning the message he was to declare to the king and also concerning his return home. The prophet was explicitly commanded to return home without stopping to eat or drink in the land, nor could he return home in the same direction that he had come.
While the prophet is returning home on a new route, he is met by “an old prophet,” a man that God had spoken through at some point in the past. This man asks the unnamed prophet to come to his home to eat and drink, and he even tells the prophet that God himself had spoken to him and told him to find the prophet and bring him to his home to eat and drink. This was a lie. God had not spoken to this old prophet, nor had he given him a contrary word from that which God had spoken to the unnamed prophet.
The unnamed prophet decided to listen to the lies of the “old prophet.” He chose to believe this “old prophet” without further confirmation from God. The story continues that while he sat and dined God spoke through the “old prophet” that had lied to the unnamed prophet.
God through the “old prophet” proclaimed a curse upon the unnamed prophet who had not done as God had commanded concerning eating and drinking in the land.
As soon as the unnamed prophet left the “old prophets” home, he was met by a lion on the road which killed him. The “old prophet” learned of his death and he took the man’s body and buried it in his own sepulcher.
What does this mean for us? Why would God punish the unnamed prophet and not the “old prophet” that had lied concerning God?
This story is overlooked and ignored because it teaches us something about God and about our responsibilities that make us uncomfortable.
Mankind always wants to avoid being held accountable for their actions. This story, in particular, is one that teaches us that God does not make exceptions for man’s disobedience. It did not work for Eve in the garden which was deceived by the serpent, and it did not work for the unnamed prophet.
God holds man accountable for his actions. In the case of the unnamed prophet, he knew exactly what God had commanded him to do, and this means that no one and nothing could command him otherwise except God himself. He was guilty of disobedience to God, and could not blame the “old prophet” for his sin.
This means that it is the responsibility of each one of us to know what God commands of us, and it is our responsibility to refuse to listen to anyone that attempts teach us anything that contradicts the Word of God.
God held the unnamed prophet accountable for his disobedience, and He will do the same to each of us.
This is one reason education is such an important topic; God will hold parents and children accountable if they listen to those that teach them contrary to the Word of God.
It should be clear now why this story is ignored and neglected altogether. It leaves man without excuse. We can not blame anyone or anything for our disobedience.
These passages teach us our responsibilities of obedience to God, and we will only prosper if we hear and apply to our lives the lesson taught by the death of the unnamed prophet. If we fail to learn from his example, we may find ourselves suffering a similar fate.