The AMI QT Devotionals for August 5-11 are provided by Doug Tritton. Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently serving as a staff at Symphony Church (Boston), while pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary. He is married to Cindy and they are proud parents of Audrey.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Hananiah the prophet in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord, 6 and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord make the words that you have prophesied come true, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. 7 Yet hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8 The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.”
Prophesying is a dangerous task. Throughout the Bible, and especially in the Old Testament, we read of people prophesying the word of God and paying dearly for it. Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah often were rejected by the people and faced constant threats and abuse. Proclaiming God’s truth is dangerous, because sometimes the truth is not easy to hear. And when people do not like the message of God, they turn their anger toward to one speaking His words. Prophesying truly is a dangerous task.
Yet, though dangerous, prophesying is a crucial task. Throughout history, God has chosen to speak through His chosen people. He didn’t need to use humans, obviously—God has used literal bushes to send his message through. Yet most of the time He has chosen to speak through people. And now, those who believe in Jesus and are filled with the Spirit are all called to prophesy. When the Spirit first fell on the early church, the Apostle Peter preached to Jerusalem by quoting Joel, “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17). Not many prophesied before Christ, but through the Spirit, all believers can serve as messengers of God. We are all called to this dangerous task. Though we should be careful about preaching painful messages like Jeremiah, we should be listening to the voice of God and be willing to boldly speak the words He gives us.
Unfortunately, in our passage, Hananiah was a false prophet. He avoided the danger of prophecy by prophesying a message of peace, a message that was not from God. But Jeremiah confronted him, by declaring that Hananiah was not sent by God. By sharing only what the people of Israel wanted to hear, Hananiah exposed himself as a fraud.
For us, let’s be a people who are bold to prophesy God’s truth. But how? It starts with God. We can only speak the words of God if we actually share a relationship with Him. We can’t expect to prophesy if we are not actually meeting with God and talking with Him regularly. Prophesy requires intimacy, and from a place of intimacy God speaks to us, that we may turn and proclaim His words. Hananiah likely did not have much of a relationship with God, which was why he spoke lies. But as we draw near to God, He will speak to us. So, let’s draw near to God, and let’s seek to be a people who share His words. Prophesy is dangerous, but it is crucial to the faith of God’s people, and it’s a task that builds Jesus’ church.
Prayer: Lord, help us to be bold enough to speak Your words. We do not want to listen to messages of only comfort and peace, but we want to be challenged; we want to grow. Help us to hear You speaking over us, and give us boldness to share what we hear from You. May You use us to build up your church through prophecy. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 12-13