1 Kings 13 contains a story of great grief. It tells of an unnamed “man of God,” a prophet from Judah, who acted with courage and boldness in carrying God’s message to the sinful, but who was destroyed by the deception of an older prophet, a man whom he thought he could trust.
The first part of the story records the work and fidelity of a prophet from Judah sent north. At God’s command, he went to the very alter of false religion and spoke God’s judgment against it and the king leading the sacrifices during their very first worship service.
But in the second part, we are told that there was another prophet, an old man, whose sons were at that worship service and saw the courageous young man. The old man and his sons didn’t speak out against the evil in their midst, but they did want to visit with the man who had the courage to do so. So they lied to him and said that God said he should stay and eat with them when He clearly had not. The young man fell for the old man’s deception and was destroyed for disobeying God’s clear instruction.
The old man mourned greatly at the destruction of the young that he himself had brought. Had he destroyed a man just because of his curiosity and desire to meet him? We don’t know. But he honored him in death who he had destroyed in life. Not that helped the young man who had been destroyed.