I mentioned yesterday this aspect of the job of prophet, but we’re going to examine this in greater detail yesterday. I said yesterday that a prophet is a mouth, and that’s what a prophet literally is. Just like in today’s passage, the pattern was for God to call someone and then send that person (usually a man) to the intended audience. You’ll see a pattern that comes up repeatedly: The prophet starts out with “This is what God says. . .” (or traditionally you might've heard it as "Thus sayeth the Lord."
This is so important for us to understand. Despite what skeptics might contend, a prophet doesn’t present his own opinions and pass them off as God’s word. At least a true one won’t; of course, there were plenty of false ones walking around, looking to make a fast buck.
That’s why studying these books is not optional for believers. When Jeremiah says something in the name of the Lord, that’s God talking to us. Maybe we’re not the original intended audience, and we have to be careful about applying what they say to modern-day believers. But this is God’s word just as much as the Sermon on the Mount or the Ten Commandments. It all comes from the same Holy Spirit.
In fact, Peter had something to say about this. In his second epistle, he gives us one of the best explanations of Divine inspiration that you’ll find in the Bible. This is what he says: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” First off, he emphatically affirms that the writings of the prophets are not the invention of human imagination. They don’t have a human origin at all. But the wonderful truth is outlined for us in vs. 21. He says that the human authors were “carried along” by the Holy Spirit. The word there was used for a wind blowing a sail on a boat. The Spirit was the guiding Person behind all the writings of the prophets, and he superintended all of it so as to tell us exactly what we need to hear. He used the personal background, vocabulary, and personality of each prophet for his own purposes, so that each author sounds different, but they each present a consistent message.
Why do people not read the prophets as much as they read the Psalms or the Gospels or other parts of Scripture? Well, to be honest, some of it’s not so appealing to us at first. There are parts that my natural predisposition finds boring. There are plenty of parts on which the scholars don't agree on the interpretation. And if the “experts” don’t agree on the interpretation of something, I can guarantee you that it’s going to be tough for us to understand.
But we do ourselves a great disservice if we ignore this section of Scripture. And despite the impression you might've gotten from certain Bible teachers and preachers, their greatest value to us is not to give us a detailed chronology of the End Times. If you’re looking in the Prophets section for clues as to who the Anti-Christ (or to confirm your suspicions), then you’re missing the main point. They tell us so much more than that.
And I’m giving away some of what I’ll say later, but their main benefit to us is that they show us our Savior. If you want to know Jesus, then you need to be familiar with all of what Scripture says about him. If the only stuff you know about Jesus comes from the Gospels, then you’re missing out. And you wouldn’t want to miss some of Jesus, would you?
Lord Jesus, thank you for your word, which truly is a light shining in this world, which can be pretty dark sometimes. May I interpret your word correctly, and let me find you there. Please speak, and help me to listen.
Post a Comment