God desires for his people to come to him only and to trust God’s silence and his voice in directing their lives. Unfortunately, we don’t give prophets a chance. We choose when to listen to God and when to ignore his voice, keeping control and pushing God away…
14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
If you wonder how prophets came to be in the Lord’s relationship with his people, it traces back to Israel’s entrance into the land and God’s instructions to them relating to the nations around them. The other nations practiced sorcery and divination: they sought answers and direction from spirits through those who practice mystical arts. God was clear with Israel. That’s not you. That’s not for you.
Instead of relying on fortune tellers and those who predict your future, you will rely on the Lord. That’s the message.
There are a lot of people and places we can go to today to find answers. God desires for his people to come to him only and to trust God’s silence and his voice in directing their lives. And therefore, God promised his people that he would send prophets to be his voice on earth. There is a long legacy of those prophets, from Samuel to Elijah to Isaiah to Malachi.
Moses was one such voice. Jesus was one such voice. Even though Jesus came to be our Saviour, his role as prophet and king are closely linked in his identity. And we see in Jesus’ words to Jerusalem that God’s people are not kind to God’s prophets on earth. We typically attack, persecute, and even kill prophets. That’s the history of the way God’s people respond to God.
Jesus’ own heart broke for Jerusalem as he longed to gather his people to himself. How often do we resist Jesus’ gathering of us to himself? And do we ignore God’s commitment to not only speak to us, but to also hold us to account for not listening to him?
When we choose when to listen to God and when to ignore his voice, we keep control for ourselves and we push God away.
God, speak to us and help us by your Spirit to listen to you today!