King Saul attacked his enemies, the Philistines, but the Israelite army was outnumbered and had almost no weapons, so they ran and hid. Saul tried making a burnt offering so God would help him. But then Samuel told him that was a foolish thing to do, and now God had rejected Saul and would have to find a new king for his people.
Later, Samuel told King Saul that God wanted him to break God’s law and kill all the people and animals in the city of Amalek for the sins of their ancestors. So Saul ambushed the city and killed all the people except the king of the Amalekites, and all the animals except the best ones, which his men were planning to sacrifice to God later. Then God realized that he had made a bad decision when he made Saul king. Because Saul had failed to kill everyone and everything immediately, God rejected Saul as king of his people. Again.
Continue reading The Story of the Rejection of Saul—
Not Evil Enough to Please God
A man named Elkanah had two wives, named Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah didn’t, because God wouldn’t let her. Peninnah kept tormenting Hannah about this for years, and she was miserable. Her husband told her she should stop crying, because she had him, which was better than having children. Hannah silently asked God to give her a son. When Eli, the priest and leader of Israel, saw her mouth moving but didn’t hear her saying anything, he told her she needed to stop getting drunk.
Then God let Hannah have a son, and she named him Samuel. She was so happy to finally have a son that she gave him away to Eli, whose sons were scoundrels. Eli tried to get his sons to change their ways, but God wouldn’t let them repent, because he wanted an excuse to kill them.
Continue reading The Story of the Calling of Samuel—
Why the Family of Eli Was Cursed
The Bible says God doesn’t lie. In fact, it’s impossible for him to lie. He wants everyone to know the truth, so all his words are flawless and true. His promises are always trustworthy. If he says he’ll do something, he’ll do it. His words never fail. He’s not a mere flawed human being, after all. If a prophet claims to be speaking for God, but what he says turns out not to be true, you can be sure that that message didn’t actually come from God. If it had, it would have been true.
The Bible also says God does inspire false prophecies. Sometimes he completely deceives people with his prophecies. He said he intended to test his people by sending them false prophets. God is in control of whether people see false visions. He has been known to send deceiving spirits to intentionally trick prophets into making false predictions. He has also been known to have his prophets knowingly make false predictions.
So God’s claim that you can tell a prophecy isn’t from him if it’s false… is false. In fact, the Bible says all prophecy comes from God, so he must be responsible for all the false ones. And there are a ton of false prophecies in the Bible.
Was God actually deceiving people all those times, though? Could it be that he was just mistaken about what was going to happen? Or maybe he changed his mind about what he was going to do? Nope. The Bible says God knows everything, which means he’s never wrong. And he never changes his mind, either. Therefore, every single false statement he makes is a LIE. And God makes a lot of false statements in the Bible.
Continue reading Does God deceive people?
When God asked Eve why she and Adam had
Eden eaten the forbidden fruit, she said the serpent had deceived her. God accepted her explanation and punished the serpent. Paul described the event the same way, saying Eve became a sinner because she was deceived by the serpent.
But if you look at what the serpent said would happen and compare it with what the Bible says actually happened, you’ll find that every single statement the serpent made was true:
Continue reading Did the serpent deceive Eve?
- The serpent said eating the fruit wouldn’t kill them, and it didn’t.
- The serpent said their eyes would be opened when they ate the fruit, and they were.
- The serpent said the fruit would give them knowledge of good and evil, and it did.
- The serpent said this new knowledge would make them become like God, and God said it had.
Samson got a new girlfriend, named Delilah. Samson’s enemies, the Philistines, paid Delilah to figure out Samson’s secret weakness, so they could capture him. So Delilah asked Samson three times how such a strong man could be successfully tied up, and Samson gave her three false answers.
Each time, Delilah tied him up the way he suggested while he was sleeping, and then woke him up by telling him the Philistines had come for him, but Samson easily broke out of his restraints. Delilah kept nagging him every day, saying if he really loved her, he would tell her how to drain his strength and allow his enemies to capture him. So he did.
Continue reading The Story of Samson and Delilah—
Brawn and No Brains
The Bible expects you to take the words of God’s prophets very seriously, because they speak for God. It doesn’t approve of all prophets, though, and it’s equally adamant that some prophets should be ignored. But even false prophets can do miracles and stuff. So how can you tell who the real prophets are?
The Bible provides a few different ways to tell which prophets you shouldn’t listen to. And it encourages us to test prophecies and reject every kind of evil. So let’s see how many of the prophets in the Bible are not actually true prophets of God, according to the Bible’s own criteria.
Some of the Bible’s prophet tests are not so useful: It suggests that if a prophet doesn’t acknowledge Jesus, his prophecies are not coming from God. But most of the prophets in the Bible lived before Jesus, so can we really expect them to acknowledge him? Well, we are talking about prophets, so maybe we should expect that of them. But still, there’s no way to know for sure that a prophet didn’t ever acknowledge Jesus. Maybe they did, but the Bible just doesn’t mention it. So that test isn’t going to be useful for evaluating prophets of the past. But don’t worry, the Bible has other methods we can use to spot false prophets.
Prophets the Bible specifically calls false
The most obvious way to tell that someone is a false prophet according to the Bible is when the Bible specifically says so:
- The prophets of Baal were unable to prove that their god was real, so God’s prophet had them slaughtered. Later, God had the king of Israel slaughter all the prophets of Baal too.
- Zedekiah son of Kenaanah was one of Ahab’s prophets who were not God’s prophets. God actually sent a deceiving spirit to make sure they would make a false prediction. But even though Zedekiah said what God wanted him to say, it doesn’t look like it ended well for him after he made that false prediction. God doesn’t think the fact that a prophet is obeying him is any reason not to kill him.
- Pashhur prophesied lies, so God got all his friends killed and sent him and his family into exile.
- Hananiah tried to prophesy even though he was not sent by God, so God killed him.
- Ahab son of Kolaiah prophesied lies, so God got him killed.
- Zedekiah son of Maaseiah too.
- Shemaiah the Nehelamite prophesied lies and was not sent by God, so God wiped out his descendants.
- Shemaiah son of Delaiah was not sent by God either.
- Elymas was a false prophet, so God made him blind.
- Jezebel of Thyatira called herself a prophet, but her teaching was misleading and immoral, so God made her suffer and killed her children.
- The false prophet of Revelation will be thrown into hell and tormented forever.
Now that you have a good idea of what the God of the Bible thinks of false prophets, let’s see who else God’s law says should have been treated the same way…
Prophets of other gods
The Bible says if a prophet tells you to worship other gods, God did send that prophet… but he has to be executed anyway. So does anyone who claims to speak for other gods. That means these people should have been killed and not listened to:
- Aaron was “Moses’s prophet“, but he made idols and encouraged the people to worship them.
- Balaam got the Israelites to worship the gods of Moab.
- Micah’s priest, who was also a prophet, served a guy who made his own household gods. And then when some other people convinced him to go with them and be their priest instead, he took those idols with him, so those people could worship them too.
- The prophets of Asherah were brought along with the prophets of Baal when Elijah challenged them to prove that their gods were real. But for some reason it doesn’t say what the outcome was for the prophets of Asherah. If they had failed as well, you’d think the author would have been eager to report it… But even if their gods were real, the Bible still says prophets who speak in the name of other gods have to be killed.
Prophets who made false predictions
There are a ton of false predictions in the Bible, so that’s another easy way to spot false prophets. The Bible says if what a prophet predicts turns out to be false, God has not actually sent that prophet or spoken through him, and that false prophet must be killed. That makes all these people false prophets:
Continue reading False prophets in the Bible
In the early days of the land of Israel, there was no king to tell the people what to do. Instead, they were led by “judges”, but the people didn’t listen to the judges; they did whatever they wanted. God didn’t like what his people were doing, so he let Eglon king of Moab take over Israel. Then the Israelites asked God to deliver them from Moab, so Ehud, the judge of Israel, was sent to meet king Eglon. Ehud said he had a secret message from God for Eglon, so Eglon sent all his attendants out of the room for privacy.
Continue reading The Story of Ehud and Eglon—
A Message From God
Because Moses did a miracle the wrong way once, God had decided not to let him bring his people into the promised land after all. So when Moses was 120 years old, God sent him to the top of a mountain, where he saw the land from a distance, and then died. God chose Moses’s assistant Joshua to replace Moses as the leader of Israel.
Joshua sent two men to spy out the land of Canaan. They stayed in the house of a prostitute named Rahab, in the city of Jericho. She told the spies everything they needed to know.
The king of Jericho heard that there were Israelite spies in the land. He sent men to tell Rahab to hand over those men who had come to her house. But Rahab hid the spies and told the king’s men that the spies had already left. So they went to look for the spies elsewhere.
Continue reading The Story of the Battle of Jericho—
Two Spies and One Hooker
Proverbs says an honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. That means it’s quite pleasant, right? But Job (who knows a thing or two about pain) says the opposite: Honest words are quite painful.
Continue reading Is honesty pleasant?