19 February 2010

God sent a lion to kill a man for not smiting a prophet

I don't completely understand God's thinking on this one. Maybe a believer can explain it.

It all happens fast, in just two verses. Here's a summary:

A "son of a prophet" asked a "neighbor in the word of the Lord" to smite him.
A certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. 1 Kings 20.35a
The neighbor refused.
And the man refused to smite him. 20.35b
So God sent a lion to kill him.
Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. 20.36
It turns out, though, that there was some reason to the prophet's madness. The prophet wanted a good disguise when he met King Ahab, and he figured a wound would help. So he wanted his neighbor to cut his face, so he could put a bandage on it, so King Ahab wouldn't recognize him when he saw him. Or something like that.

(I don't know why the prophet couldn't just put a bandage on his face or a bag over his head to disguise himself. And I'm not sure why the disguise was necessary anyway. But I guess it was all very important to God.)

Anyway, the bat-shit crazy prophet found another guy who was willing to smite him.
Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him. 20.37
And so the prophet got his costume ready for his meeting with King Ahab.
So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face. 20.38 

7 comments:

psybermonkey said...

This one I wasn't too sure of either, because of the lack of detail. However, it seems clear enough to label as unjust and just plain ridiculous. I suppose the moral of this story is to do whatever is commanded of you by god or his prophets.

Steve Wells said...

" I suppose the moral of this story is to do whatever is commanded of you by god or his prophets."

Yeah, I suppose that's it, but what if you obeyed and smote (smited?) the prophet? Would God send a lion to eat you for smiting his prophet? He send a couple of bears to rip up 42 little boys for making fun of a prophet's bald head. Maybe it's a lion for disobeying a prophet and bears for making fun of them.

It's probably best to just stay the hell away from God and his prophets.

Robert said...

The rest of the story ... This "son of the prophet" wanted to deceive King Ahab (and presumably YAHWEH wanted to deceive him as well). Why? To see if he would kill someone who let a captive free. The king does not kill the lying prophet (who says he let a captive free) so YAHWEH kills the king. 1 Kings 20:37-43

Apparently the first guy should have known that this son of a prophet had a master plan of deception - approved by God - and anyone who does not support the plan would be punished with immediate death. After all, God has a right to know if someone will kill someone who gave mercy to someone else who did not deserve mercy ... and if he wants you to deceive people to find out, well you better do it!

I tell you honestly. I don't see how this can be good.

Steve Wells said...

I agree, Robert.

I should probably add something about "the rest of the story" -- which leads to God's next killing: king Ahab.

skanksta said...

smited is wrong, but sounds better than smote !

Matthew Blanchette said...

Wow; that's a crazy-ass convoluted plan... neither rhyme nor reason to it.

4bd7d1b2-d11b-11e2-be49-000f20980440 said...

When the prophet (who was also recognized by the king) said to his neighbor (this man knew him and his office) "by the word of the LORD" he was telling him that this was "authorized" by God. This man chose to "disobey" God's command and was made an example of.