I would not want to be a prophet in Israel in the Old Testament.
On the whole, they were not well liked. They often had the job of delivering bad news. When God wasn’t pleased, He sent a prophet to tell the people to change their ways or there would be consequences. As you might imagine, the people often directed their anger toward the prophet instead of actually taking the warning and turning back to God.
Today, God speaks through his Holy Spirit living inside of the believer. But he still uses prophets and teachers to guide, counsel, and convict. Many of us don't like to be “preached at”. The truth is none of us want someone else, whether it’s another person or God, telling us what to do — even if it is done out of love and for our good. Pride keeps us from hearing what God wants to say to us.
Prophets from the Old Testament warned the people against behavior that would harm or ultimately destroy them. Those who God calls today to teach and preach his Word act in a similar capacity, but they do it to confirm the Word we have in front of us and the Spirit who speaks to each of us. When we put the three together, and we are willing to consider the message, God can change us, protect us and mold us into the people we were made to be.
Whose voices of godly wisdom are you listening to today?
Lord, may I consider the words of teaching, correcting, and training from those around me who speak and teach your Word. Show me through your Spirit what is true. Humble my heart to accept what you may be saying to me. Amen.
Additional Resources: Consider the context God has put you in. Who speaks into your life? What kind of community is available to you? This article will help you understand the goal of community and how it can be a way that God speaks to you.