[Mar 06]--Creative Destruction

           Today we’re continuing our brief study of Jeremiah’s calling. Here’s another mark of a true prophet—God takes over his mouth. I don’t mean necessarily like a puppet, but the Lord came down and “touched” Jeremiah’s mouth to give him the words which the Lord wanted him say.

            This is in stark contrast with the false prophets, both back then and today. A true prophet is not airing his own opinions. What he’s uttering and writing down is just as much from the mouth of God as what the angels are hearing by hovering around the Throne in Heaven.

            Then the Lord gives him a summary of what he’s going to be doing with his words.

            I’d like to introduce you to a term in economics: creative destruction. This might seem to be a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. How can destruction be creative?

            Look at a business that’s failing. It’s using up resources in a very inefficient way. So what happens is that it finally folds. All of its assets don’t just vanish, however. Someone'll come along and buy those resources and (supposedly) use them more effectively and efficiently. In this sense, you have to destroy before you can create. You have to tear down the structure in order to build something better in its place.

            This is why Jeremiah seems so negative in his writings and sermons. He’s got to tear the nation down in order to build it back up again. He had to “uproot and tear down,” “destroy and overthrow” before he (and others) could “build and plant.”

            So let’s get to the parallels in our lives in the here and now, shall we?

            Now, I do not believe for one moment that biblical prophets exist today, at least in the same sense as Isaiah or Jeremiah or Amos. Does God speak today? Of course he does, but the only 100% authoritative message we have from the Lord today is his word, which is contained in the book known as the Bible. The main way he speaks to us is through his word. I think he gives us guidance and leading and wisdom, through the Sprit and the Church. But to know for sure what he says on a subject, go to the Book, the complete word from the Almighty. That book is closed, and it doesn’t need any addendum.

            But in a sense, we are prophets, each one of us. All of us have been given God’s word, and each of us has a responsibility to—as the Lord leads us—to share that message with people who need it. And inasmuch as we stick to what he's actually said, we’re speaking as authoritatively as Jeremiah did.

            I think there’s another application we can get from the “creative destruction” principle. As Yoda once told Skywalker, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” All of us have misconceptions, biases, areas of self-deception, etc. The artifice of our traditions and “the way we’ve always done it” is a structure which invites God’s prophetic word. He’s going to come, and when he comes, he won’t hesitate to tear down in order to restore and recreate.

            And of course the same principle applies in our lives as well. We’ve all built our own little Tower of Babel, our own little agenda about how we’re going to spend the remaining years on earth. Surprise! Our Lord loves to come and knock down our personal defense tower, to uproot, tear down, destroy and overthrow. But he’s not dismantling all that we’ve built just for its own sake. He plans to build something much better in its place.

            So are you going to cooperate in the rebuilding, or are you going to continue to mourn as you watch it all burn? Your choice.

Father God, your way is not the best way, it’s the only way. If I continue to build my own little Tower, then let it burn. I don’t need it. I need you, and what you have planned for me.

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