The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. I have been told by the word of YHWH, ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’” The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of YHWH, ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.” So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house. – 1 Kings 13:15-19
A young prophet was given specific instructions by God on what he should speak as well as where he should travel. He was obediently carrying out God’s instructions until he met an older prophet who claimed to have differing instructions from God. The young man of God wavered, yielded to the older, and the result was disastrous, he died.
This story reveals how easy it is for a false teacher to lead a person who does not know God’s Word to believe God has said something contrary to His expressed will and purpose. People are deceived every single day simply because they are ignorant of God’s teaching in Scripture.
In similar fashion, I am reminded that I must know God’s voice and direction for my own life and never compromise simply for the sake of comfort or expedience. It is easy for my “flesh” to get in the way of a difficult obedience and while it is very human to choose the path of least resistance, God’s commands may require us to walk through a valley of trouble.
Knowledge and obedience to God’s Word is the only path worth taking in this life. All others are indeed perilous.
Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. – Charles Spurgeon