1 Kings 13:16-19
And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
The man of God had been faithful so far to the commands of God. He had obeyed and gone to Beth-el to speak against Jeroboam’s altar and to give a sign from God. He had gone back a different way, as he was told to do. He had refused the reward of Jeroboam and would not eat bread nor drink water, as God had commanded him. But now as he is on his journey home, a subtle and deceptive voice leads him astray. He had not been tempted earlier, but now this lie of the old prophet undoes him.
Deception is Satan’s greatest tool, and it comes in many forms. For whatever reason, this old prophet comes to deceive the man of God. And he believes that lie to his own destruction, as he is killed for his disobedience. He had gotten so far being faithful. He had been willing to obey God. But when he blindly trusts something that seems true but turns out not to be, his fate is sealed.
Deception often comes where we least expect it. That’s why we have to be so careful. Deception also comes in many forms and at times from the unlikeliest source. Not everyone who has a message from the Lord is speaking truth. Not everyone has the right motive or our best in mind when they speak to us as if they spoke for God. Not everything with God’s name attached is actually true if it doesn’t really come from Him.
May we simply live with an awareness that lies and deception are common weapons of the devil. He is trying to lead us astray. He wants us to disobey God. He will do anything to oppose the truth. So we have to try the spirits to see if they are of God. We can’t believe everyone even if they claim to be representing God. We must know for ourselves what is true and seek truth from God Himself. If something doesn’t seem right based on what God has already told us, it is better to question it than to be deceived to a point where we only end up hurting ourselves.