Playing the “God card”
Jeremiah 23: Quit the “God told me this, God told me that” kind of talk.
Jeremiah’s not the only preacher in the nation. As he proclaims God’s message there are others with a very different message, contradicting Jeremiah all the way. Jeremiah preaches saying, “This is God’s message,” and these other preachers come along right behind him saying, “No, THIS is God’s message.” These preachers with their alternate sermons have gotten the attention of the people. They’ve also gotten the attention of God. The Lord tells them, “Only the person I authorize speaks for me.” He says he doesn’t want to hear any more “God told me” preaching from the others. The Lord isn’t against them discussing Jeremiah’s sermons. He says, “Ask questions of one another, such as ‘how do we understand God in this?'” I’ve been in some discussions with people who played what I’ve heard called the “God card.” That is, they declared that “God told them” what was right. Once that’s said it’s pretty much the end of the discussion. After all, who wants to argue with God? This can be a big problem when someone with a differing view plays their “God card” too. Now what are we going to do? God is giving conflicting messages to different people! In this passage I’m reminded that the Lord’s paying attention to my words. I’d better tread lightly when I presume to speak for him. I’m not saying the Lord never directs, after all, this is all about Jeremiah’s message, and he HAD heard directly from God. Most of the time I’d better do more listening than “declaring.” The Lord isn’t opposed to them discussing Jeremiah’s messages, but he’s very much against them presuming to speak in his name.
Take Away: Most of the time it’s better to “listen” than it is to “declare.”
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