The Ultimate Authority: Learning to Prioritize God's Voice

1 Kings 12:8
And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.

Let us now consider the aftermath of listening to the wrong voice. Here, a younger prophet had gone into town to deliver a Word from God, with specific instructions NOT to eat or drink with anyone, but to just leave town altogether after the message was delivered. Having done so and having already turned down one invitation to stay and eat, this young prophet was well on his way to complete obedience, that is, until another older prophet lied to him. You heard that right! An older, more seasoned, and supposedly trusted man of God lied to this young prophet and told him that an angel of the Lord had spoken to him to offer this young man some food and drink. So, the young man put his trust in the old man of God, but as we see in our text, to his own demise. That’s right; the carcass that was “cast in the way” in our selected verse is the very dead body of that young prophet, all because he took the word of an older man of God OVER the voice of God. And the moral of this story is, if you get a word straight from God, any deviation or course alteration also better come straight from God! Sometimes we put too much trust in aged men, when we should be putting our trust in the Rock of Ages. In fact, I grew up around a lot of “old men of God” who I love and respect to this day. I was also taught that “you better listen to the old man of God”, but I was never taught the counter-balance to that truth, namely, that sometimes even the old man of God can be wrong! Indeed the aged and seasoned men of God have much to offer us in terms of wisdom, insight, experience, and counsel, but at the end of the day, we will still be held accountable for how that counsel measures up to GOD’S Word, and which one we took heed to. Listen dear preacher, just because an older man of God may have “rank” or whatever you want to call it, does not make him bulletproof, nor does it make him perfect and incapable of giving unwise counsel. The truth is, we can all get it wrong at times, no matter how old or experienced or educated we may become. In fact, it would do all of us preachers some good to keep in practice the words “I could be wrong!” whenever we’re giving advice, especially when two seemingly innocent paths can be taken. This man was judged by God and killed by a lion, all because he did not trust God’s word over man’s word. So, when the old preacher’s advice is wrong, the consequences can be deadly, so be careful!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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