Lyre, Lyre!

Have you ever heard of the lyre bird?  Perhaps he would have been more aptly named the "liar bird," for he pretends to be that which he is not.  This Australian native can mimic nearly any sound.  Other birds, wildlife, cars, cell phones and even chainsaws are sounds that are not too difficult for the bird to master.  The lyre bird is a master of disguise.  He can hide in the brush and confuse or mislead innocent bystanders.  He really is an amazing creature, and I understand that he is simply doing what God created him to do.

Man, however, was never intended to deceive.  Unfortunately, the Bible tells of a prophet whose deception puts the lyre bird to shame.  For the sake of time and space, I won't post the entire passage, but you can find the story in I Kings 13.  Basically, a prophet out of Judah makes an appearance before King Jereboam, and when the king invites him to dinner, the prophet tells him that he has been commanded by God not to eat, drink or tarry in that place.  Basically, he was to deliver his message and go home.

When a prophet of Bethel heard tell of this prophet from Judah, he rode out and met him.  He told the prophet from Judah that he, too, was a prophet and that an angel had appeared to him with a message.  The message was that this prophet out of Judah was supposed to go home with the prophet from Bethel and eat, drink and refresh himself.  So, without a thought or prayer, the prophet from Judah complied, never realizing that he had been lied to.  In the end, he was killed by a lion for his disobedience.

This is kind of a strange story.  I mean, first off, was the prophet from Bethel really a prophet at all?  And if so, why in the world did he lie?  Why would he purposely try to trip up the other prophet?  Perhaps God was testing the prophet from Judah.  I don't know.  What I do know is that the prophet of Judah should have known better.  He already had orders from God, and God never contradicts Himself.  He wouldn't tell the prophet to do one thing and then turn around and say, "Well, never mind.  I want you to do the exact opposite."  And if the prophet had taken the time to seek God's face, He would have discovered the deception.

Perhaps that's the same problem we're facing today.  Too many people are content to hear preachers, singers, evangelists, authors and even celebrities tell them, "Thus saith the Lord."  The problem is that the Lord hasn't said some of the stuff they're saying He said.  In fact, in many cases, He has said the exact opposite.  Don't you owe it to yourself to find out the truth for yourself?  Don't take another's word for it. . . including mine!  Get in the Bible and find out for yourself what God says.  Don't make the same mistake the prophet from Judah made.  After all, the prophet from Bethel isn't the only "liar bird" out there.  There are too many to count.   They are deceiving good people into believing that they're good enough for Heaven.  They are fooling people into believing that once a week church attendance is all that really matters.  They are tricking people out of their money, but more importantly, out of their faith.  And whenever I see it happening, I have the all-consuming desire to shout from the housetops, "Liar!  Liar!"

Don't be fooled.  Keep in mind that God says what He means and means what He says.  He won't counteract His standing orders to you. If you're not sure what those orders are, I urge you to get into His Word.  Seek His face and His wisdom.  He'll clear things up for you, just as He would have done for the prophet from Judah, if only He had bothered to ask.  But, he didn't, and he paid the price.  Need I remind you that we, too, are being preyed upon by a hungry lion?  He is seeking whom he may devour, and from what I know of predators, they always go for the weakest prey.  Are you malnourished on God's Word?  I hope not. . . for your sake!

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. - Luke 21:8