The Old Prophet

My wife and I currently read the daily devotional The Lord My Portion by Watchman Nee after dinner. The devotionals have been extracted from some of his later writings. Of the 280+ entries so far this year a few have raised our eyebrows, most are pretty good and helpful, and a few are extraordinary for their incisiveness and clarity. One of the later is from October 2nd. We first heard this read out at a church we were attending last year and it prompted me to buy the book.

And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of Jehovah unto Bethel…Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel. (1 Kings 13:1, 11)

This old prophet in Bethel was a man who in the past had been used by God, but now he was no longer usable. When God wished to warn Jeroboam because of his sin in Bethel, He did not send the old prophet who lived in Bethel to speak for Him.

The phrase “man of God” denotes that such a one has communion with God, and communion is the basis for light from God. The moment communion stops, at that very moment light ceases. This old prophet once had a spiritual history, for he was at one time a prophet; however, he had now lost communion with the Lord. He became an old prophet when God could no longer use him. How grave is this situation. In view of this, we must attend to a very important issue in our Christian walk—namely, how not to be set aside by God, how not to be rejected or remain unused. Our freshness before the Lord is a most vital habit to be established or maintained.