Search the Scriptures

Acts 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

A line of cars sits at a red light at a busy intersection.  During a break in the cross traffic, the front car starts to go as if the light has turned green, even though it hasn’t.  The cars behind him start to go also, following his cue instead of checking to see if the light is green.  This leads to a major accident as cars that have the green light are unable to stop for the cars moving ahead without the right-of-way.

Sometimes in life we have to think for ourselves in order to avoid trouble.  We have a personal responsibility to make sure of the truth instead of just taking someone else’s word for it.  This is especially true when it comes to Scripture and the truth of God’s Word.  It can be easy to be misled by what other people claim is the truth, especially if they are intentionally distorting Scripture.  Whatever the issue, we should diligently search the Scriptures to know for sure the truth of the matter, placing our trust in what God says instead of what anyone else says.

During his missionary journey, Paul had encountered hostile Jews in Thessalonica who had refused to accept the truth of Christ.  He and Silas then go to Berea, where they encounter “more noble” people who are willing to listen to what they had to say.  They receive the word with an open mind and then search the Scriptures in order to decide whether what Paul and Silas said was true instead of depending on their own knowledge or immediately dismissing them.  The result is that many of them became believers in Christ.

In most cases, it is unwise to blindly trust something.  Cars following the leader through a red light illustrates the danger of such a thing.  But we can trust the Bible as our guidebook through life as we depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth.  Following the right leader is what makes the difference.  And discovering the great truth of God’s Word for ourselves is a much richer and more fulfilling experience than simply accepting what someone else might tell us.  That way, we also draw closer to God as He ministers in our individual lives in ways that apply specifically to us.