Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Prophetic

Jeremiah 45.

This five-verse chapter is Jeremiah’s prophecy to Baruch his scribe.

I imagine the scene. Baruch has stuck with Jeremiah in the muscle-cramping hours of taking dictation. He has seen the scroll, product of their joint efforts, through from getting it onto parchment, to reading it before a few princes, to giving it to one of them to read to the king.

Baruch and Jeremiah were in hiding when King Jehoiakim systematically sliced and fed the laboriously written document to the fire. Then Baruch stuck with Jeremiah through the days, weeks, perhaps months of getting all those prophecies into writing again.

Somewhere in the process he (Baruch) had the thought or said the words, "Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow..."

We’re not told from where this emotion sprang. But we do know that it was intermingled with a little of the yeast of ambition. Perhaps it was completely rooted in the frustration of seeing a personal agenda thwarted. For God’s message to Baruch through Jeremiah contains this pointed admonition: "And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them..."

What a jab in his spirit those words must have been. What a heart-pounding moment as light shone into the deepest recesses: I’m discovered - found out!

Whether prophetic words come to me through people or the words of Scripture that is always their effect. For true words of prophecy come from the One of whom David said, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?" (
Psalm 139).

A true prophetic word comes from God the Holy Spirit’s insight – like when Peter was given a knowing about Ananias and Sapphira (
Acts 5:1-11). It frictions with our spirit to produce the spark of conviction which can be ignored or acted on (Acts 24:25; James 1:23-25).

God, who sees everything, who knows my secret thoughts – those things I don’t even put into words or admit to myself – reveal me to myself today. Then give me the courage to act on Your revelation.

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