The Daily Word of Righteousness

A Prophet to the Nations, #5

But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. (Jeremiah 1:7)

The prophet of the Lord is not to complain about his shortcomings. How old we are, how strong we are, how educated we are, how fluent of speech we may be, are not to be considered or mentioned.

If we have faith in God we will go to every person to whom the Lord sends us. We will speak every word God gives us. We will not seek the help of men. We will not complain. We will not consider our weaknesses.

We will do what God said to do and leave all the problems with Him. This does not mean we are to become passive or cease informing the Lord vigorously of our needs, our fears, our desires. Many times we do not have what we need or desire because we do not ask.

A prophet must learn stern obedience to the Lord. Jonah was a disobedient, complaining prophet. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the other writers were obedient prophets. God required unusual, difficult tasks they were to perform. They did what God commanded them to do and God stood with them.

Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:8)

Sometimes the man or woman of God is invited to stand against the crowd, to take an unpopular position, to say what grieves the hearers. He or she must deliver the whole counsel of God without regard for the consequences.

There is an emphasis today on preaching "positive" ideas—promises that make the hearers feel good, of which there are many in the Scriptures.

We asked the Lord about the current emphasis on positive preaching.

We believe He answered our inquiry. The Lord impressed this thought on us: "The person who preaches only what is positive is seeking his own glory. The person who preaches only what is negative is emotionally ill. The Scriptures contain a balance between positive and negative teaching, commencing with the invitation to eat freely of every tree of the garden and the warning to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

We believe the Lord then reminded us of many parts of the Scriptures that are positive and many that are negative. The Lord Jesus made many negative comments, as did Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude.

The pronouncements of the Prophets of Israel often were negative. In fact, it may be true that the holy Scriptures, in spite of the incomprehensible glories they offer, are more negative than positive.

The blessings pronounced on Mount Gerizim were fewer in number than the curses pronounced on Mount Ebal (Deuteronomy 27:11-28:68).

The individual who preaches only what is positive and pleasant to the listeners is part of the False Prophet. He has not been taught by the Lord. He is seeking his own gain. His God is his stomach. He is not a true pastor, a true watchman on the wall. He is a destroyer of the sheep. Their blood is on his hands. He shall not escape judgment in the Day of the Lord.

To be continued.