Written by Joel Igbokwe
Beloved of God,
Are you listening to God? It could mean success or failure, victory or defeat.
In a moment I am going to tell you the story that tells us to ‘Beware of Toads.” I hope that it will help us to remember this message. Just excuse me that it does not sound spiritual; however, it has some spiritual lessons to teach. Our Bible reading for this topic is a little long. (1 Kings 13:11-22). Please be patient and read through.
As you read this story you realize that someone should have asked the man of God, “Are you listening to God?”
As it happened, there was an old prophet living in Bethel, and his sons came home and told him what the man of God had done in Bethel that day. They also told their father what the man had said to the king. The old prophet asked them, “Which way did he go?” So they showed their father which road the man of God had taken. “Quick, saddle the donkey,” the old man said. So they saddled the donkey for him, and he quickly got on the donkey. Then he rode after the man of God and found him sitting under a great tree. The old prophet asked him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” “Yes, I am,” he replied. Then he said to the man of God, “Come home with me and eat some food.” “No, I cannot,” he replied. “I am not allowed to eat or drink anything here in this place. For the LORD gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.’”
But the old prophet answered, “I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the LORD: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.’” But the old man was lying to him. So they went back together, and the man of God ate and drank at the prophet’s home. Then while they were sitting at the table, a command from the LORD came to the old prophet. He cried out to the man of God from Judah, “This is what the LORD says: You have defied the word of the LORD and have disobeyed the command the LORD your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where he told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.” The man of God should have been listening to God.
There was a story about a centipede that was distracted and deceived by a toad. The toad told the centipede that despite even though the centipede has many legs, that he, the toad, who has only two legs still runs faster than he does. The Toad asked centipede to follow after him, and he would show him how to run. As they got to a ditch, the toad jumped and passed over while the centipede in an attempt to follow suit fell into the ditch and couldn’t come out.
There’s no need to argue, there are many good toads in the world, and sometimes they manage to “strain our minds to such a ditch” that instead of doing it the right way, we may very easily find ourselves “distracted into a ditch.” What does it take to get you distracted? What does it take to get you disobey God? Who do you listen to? To whom are you listening? Keep in mind, when we allow ourselves to disobey God, we in one way or the other pay a price. Where we read, the young prophet had been given strict orders from God not to eat or drink anything while on his mission. He died because he listened to a man who claimed to have a message from God, rather than God himself. This prophet should have followed God’s word instead of hearsay. Trust God’s Word rather than man words. Disregard what others claim to be message from God if their words contradict the Bible. Thank you. God bless you for reading through.
Beware the toad! Listening to God can save you from grief in your life.