Reconciling the Generations
1 Kings 13:17-18,24 NKJV
“’For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way you came.” He said to him, ‘I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.” (He was lying to him.) …When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him…”
In the coming season, a new generation of ministers is arising. They will be young and inexperienced, but they will be called and gifted. One of the challenges the Church always faces as each generation becomes of age, is the inevitable ‘rubbing’ or ‘chafing’ between generations. On a human level, there is usually a gap in understanding between the two and some friction. Only those truly walking in the Spirit will find a way to negotiate a safe path in the relationships between the two. The older generation perceives the younger as ‘cocky’, impatient and over confident. The younger generation perceives the older as slow, traditional and over cautious. A lack of grace from both sides can hinder the work of the kingdom. One story always jumps to mind for me when I think of this dilemma – the story of the man of God going to prophesy against the wicked Northern Kingdom. He is distinguished from another prophet who is described as old. Here we have two generations – one old and the other obviously younger.
The man of God comes and prophesies against the altar of Baal foreseeing it’s eventual destruction. This prophesy is fulfilled hundreds of years later. The prophesy is extremely accurate and is accompanied by a miracle as the altar is split in two, and the king’s hand withers when he attempts to arrest him.
What I find completely confusing is when an old prophet, comes and deceives him causing his death. This old prophet does not doubt the new prophet’s message and he even confirms it when he buries the dead prophet. Why would he do this – jealousy? The younger prophet was cocky and disobedient. He didn’t trust the word of the Lord. The older prophet laid a trap for the younger, knowing that he wasn’t experienced enough to be cautious. In this season, the Lord is calling the younger generation to trust God, be obedient and humble. He is calling the older generation to support the younger by using their experience as a help not a trap and a stumbling block. If you are young, be slower, more cautious, relying on faith. If you are older, be quick to help the younger. Be mothers and fathers.
God bless you,