Talk about a very strange story. This is it! I really had to pause and think about this chapter from the Bible for quite awhile. I wondered what the lesson was for me, for us, today. What do you think? Any ideas? The more I thought about it, the more I could sense a message from the Lord for today. A very important lesson, critical really. Whose authoritative voice will we listen to in life? Whose word counts? But first the story and what happened. The Lord sends one of His prophets, one whose name is never mentioned. Anonymous and unknown. And He sends him to Jeroboam, King of the rebellious Northern Kingdom of Israel. To keep his people from worshiping in Jerusalem and possibly aligning themselves with the rival king Rehoboam, son of Solomon of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Jeroboam sets up his own worship centers, chooses his own priests, establishes his own holy days and worst of all creates man-made idols, golden calves, for the people to worship. So, this prophet gives due warning to Jeroboam, a chance to repent and turn back to the Lord. No way, says Jeroboam! So, God allows him a traumatic seizure of his hand, and then the altar at the false temple to just turn to dust. Help, cries Jeroboam! The prophet prays and God responds. A healing occurs. Jeroboam then asks the prophet to stay with him, to be his religious leader. But,no, he couldn’t do that. After all, “For I was commanded by the word of the Lord,’You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came'”(verse 9). The Lord is very direct with His prophet…clear as clear can be. The instructions are not in a foreign language! Here enters another strange character, also unnamed, but identified as ‘a certain old prophet’. And somehow he gets our first prophet to stay with him for a meal and some liquid refreshment in total disobedience to what the Lord has commanded him. Not a good choice. And the results are pretty bad too…he heads down a dead-end street, if you know what I mean! What tipped him over the edge? That cagey, old-goat prophet just lied through his teeth, which were probably as false as his words. Told the other prophet that the Lord had given him a message through an angel to stay with him and have some food and drink. Too bad our first prophet didn’t listen to what he knew was the Word of the Lord. Not just him. How about you and me? Too bad when we hear the voice of society more than the Word of the Lord. Too bad denominations speak and cease hearing from the Word of the Lord. Too bad when pastors tickle ears more than hear and heed the Word of the Lord. Too bad when the tide turns on some moral issue and we just float off to sea drowning in the foam of current opinion, rather than standing on the solid ground of the Word of God, the Bible. Too bad indeed. Think about it for awhile. Who do we listen to? Whose word counts…for you?