The Importance and Power of the Prophetic Ministry

“But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words Then they would have turned them from their evil way.  And from the evil of their doings.  Am I a God near at hand, says the Lord ,and not a God afar off?”  (Jeremiah 23:22-23 NKJV)

     This verse was spoken by the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah.  It was give at a time when Judah was about to go into exile for their unrepentant hearts and sins.  This verse emphasizes the importance and power of the prophetic ministry because, had the prophets done what they were supposed to do, the outcome for Judah  may have been different.

Before the invasion of Canaan, God spoke to Moses saying, “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them ,and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.” (Deuteronomy 31:16)  Despite the fact that God had commanded them saying, “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or a one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.  You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.  For these nations which you will dispossess  listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.” (Duet 18:9-14), the children of Israel fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land and instead make covenants with them.  In Judges it states, “Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim , and said:  I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, I will never break My covenant with you.  And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their alters.  But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?  Therefore, I also said, “I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” ( Judges 2:1-4)  This spiritual union with the “nations” that God wanted to drive out, becomes a source of Israeli destruction.

Israel’s failure to destroy the nations of the land and subsequently, the worship of their gods, perpetuates the downfall of Judah and Israel.  Scripture states, “For so it was that he children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their god, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the lord had cast our from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel which they had made.” (2 Kings 17:7-8)  Yet, there was one ministry that could’ve turned the tide for Israel.  Had the prophets engaged in their appointed spiritual position, the outcome for the nation may have been different.  The Lord says, “”But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings. ”

Let us not make the same mistakes as the children of Israel who didn’t want to hear the words of her prophets and in fact, incited her prophets to not speak what the Lord had spoken.  Let us neither despise the prophetic word nor the ministry of the prophets, but let us embrace it.  Let us acknowledge that they have been sent to us by God for our edification.

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