God sent a holy man from Judah (David's grandson Rehoboam's country) to prophecy against Jeroboam. He delivered his message and left, refusing to remain or eat. God had told him not to eat anything until he left Israeli soil.
A prophet--a true prophet, who recognized the truth behind the holy man's word, who heard from God--invited the holy man to a meal. I can think of several reasons for this: he wanted to celebrate the man's courageous stand against Jeroboam. He wanted to fellowship. He wanted to confer, two men with a similar vision of the future.
I will confess, when I have read this story before, I thought the prophet was trying to tempt the holy man from his truth path. Reading it today, I decided that wasn't the case. His sons told him about the confrontation between the holy man and Jeroboam. At that, the prophet saddled his donkey and rushed to the holy man's side, beginning him to be his guest.
A small thing. A white lie, implying God had given him a direct word when he was acting on principle (and desire).
But that small thing resulted in the holy man's death. He was killed (and then guarded) by, of all animals, a lion--the animal that symbolized Judah (Solomon's throne was mounted on a dozen lions.)
If the prophet was punished, we don't see it. His worst punishment perhaps was knowing the holy man had spoken the truth and that Israel had lost a courageous patriot that day..
How many of us, out of kindness, has urged someone to do the opposite of God's will for them? It
There has to be a balance. I want, need, godly friends to question my course of action if it seems unwise. They must speak up if our plans are against God's specific, revealed will. But I also need the courage and confidence in standing my ground--something I don't find easy.
But as the friend? I'd better be sure of my reasons before I advise against a course of action.