True and False Prophets

January 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 gives us an indication of how difficult it is to discern the authentic word of God among the many voices competing for our loyalty.  It might have been easier if false prophets were clearly speaking on behalf of gods other than the true God, but the problem is that a false prophet might also claim to speak for the true God (18:20).  Callie Plunket-Brewton writes, “Most people and communities have a hard time hearing the words that demand a drastic change of belief or practices, and so the tendency is to ignore such words of judgment or to dismiss them as the words of a false prophet.  We find layers upon layers of difficulty before us in our effort to discern the word of God in our midst, and yet the task is of the utmost importance.  The task of determining God’s word to us requires a great effort on our part and a willingness to listen for the word that challenges all that we hold dear and believe to be true.  The word of God is, indeed, difficult to bear and to hear, but the alternative — being cut off from God, unable to look beyond our human limits and see God’s dream for us — is untenable.”  The message of a prophet is usually uncomfortable and challenge us on taken for granted beliefs.  How are you challenged in terms of something that you hold dear?

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