In 1 Kings 13, a prophet is sent by God to the northern kingdom of Israel with specific instructions. Among those, he was commanded not to eat or drink anything until he had returned home to Judah (1 Kings 13:8-10). As he was heading back home, he was met by another man who said that he was also a prophet and that God had sent him to invite the traveling prophet into his home for a meal. The young prophet, hearing that this was a message from God, took it at face value and accepted the invitation.
We are not told why he did it, but the older prophet lied (1 Kings 13:18). Because the young prophet believed the lie and disobeyed God he suffered the consequences of disobedience (1 Kings 13:21-24). When it comes to obeying God’s commands, each one of us has the responsibility to make sure we know what those commands say and have verified them at the source. Even when the inspired apostle Paul preached, double checking his words with the Scriptures was encouraged and praised by God. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
It is easy, even comforting at times, to listen to a trusted preacher, friend, or the church when they explain what God has said. While most folks wouldn’t lie intentionally like the older prophet, sometimes mistakes are made. At the end of time when you stand before Jesus, He will expect that you have looked for yourself to see what is expected. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Your soul’s eternal destiny is too important a matter to simply trust the word of others, no matter who they are. But don’t take my word for it, search the scriptures!