Do not return back in the same way!
“So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19: 17, 26
“But when the people of the land come before the LORD on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate.” Ezekiel 46; 9
“But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place.9 For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’ 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.” 1 Kings 13:8-10
“And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee … for so was it charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.”
The prophet refused to receive anything from Jeroboam, but he fell under the temptation of an aged prophet living at Bethel…. To him he said, “Come home with me, and eat bread.” But the man of God answered him as he had answered Jeroboam…. The old prophet then lied to him, saying, “I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.” He declared that the Lord had spoken through him, when He had not.
The man of God had been fearless in delivering his message of rebuke. He had not hesitated to denounce the king’s false system of worship. And he had refused Jeroboam’s invitation, even though promised a reward. But he allowed himself to be overpersuaded by the one who claimed to have a message from heaven.
When the Lord gives a person a command such as He gave this messenger, He Himself must countermand the order. Upon those who turn from the voice of God to listen to counter orders, the threatened evil will come. Because this messenger obeyed false orders, God permitted him to be destroyed.
The rent altar, the palsied arm, the fearful result of the prophet’s disobedience—these were evidences that should have led the king to turn from his evil ways and serve the Lord. But we read, “After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way.” Christ Triumphant 161.3 – 7