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Prophets have “Bad attitudes”

by on October 17, 2013

 

God places prophets among His people. They have the daunting task of speaking God’s word for Him. Prophets have to endure many accusations. Disloyalty is very commonly a charge against prophets. Many times we also hear that prophets have bad attitudes. These “bad attitudes” presumably prevent their voice from being heard. People do not want to hear from someone who has a bad attitude. What does the scripture say about this accusation? Do prophets have “bad attitudes?”

Here are some Scriptural examples:

  • Jeremiah said “amen” to a false prophet even though he knew that the false prophet was not telling the truth. Jeremiah 28:1-17.
  • When Jeremiah spoke God’s words to the people, he was accused of disloyalty – of speaking against Jerusalem. “And the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, ‘This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.’” Jeremiah 26:11.
  • Micaiah mocked Ahab and his prophets by telling Ahab what Ahab wanted to hear even though he knew it was wrong. Micaiah mimicked the false prophets. Why would he do that? He knew they were wrong.  I Kings 22.
  • Elijah was accused of disloyalty – of being the “troubler of Israel?” He answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. I Kings 18:17-18. Elijah also mocked the prophets of Baal.
  • Moses told the people to not leave any manna till the morning. “Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.” Ex 16:19-20. Couldn’t he have reasoned with them? Did he have to be angry? Did he have a bad attitude?
  • Amos told the truth and was told to leave and not prophesy at the house of God. Couldn’t he have been a bit more tactful? Did he have to alienate the people like that? Amos 7:7-17.
  • Samuel told Saul, “you have behaved foolishly” Those are harsh words to speak to a king of Israel – a leader of God’s people. Why would Samuel talk like that. Did he have a bad attitude? I Samuel 13:13.
  • Gideon – destroyed his father’s idols. How disrespectful is that?  Judges 6-8.
  • Jesus in the Temple – He made a whip and drove out the money changers. These people were doing a service to the travelers. They were providing animals and currency to use at the temple. Couldn’t he have appreciated their services and dealt a bit more kindly with them? John 2:15.
  • Jesus offended the Pharisees. He told them that they keep the part of the law but violate the purpose of the law. Couldn’t he have been a bit more tactful than to offend the religious leaders? Matt. 15:14.
  • Just when you might think that Jesus cannot get any worse, He says that there should be a millstone hanged on the neck of anyone who offends the little ones.

Matt. 18.

  • Jesus asked the elders about the source of John’s baptism. They could not answer His question.  So they said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. Was that a nice answer? Couldn’t He have answered their question? Matthew 21:26-27.
  • Stephen to the leaders, “You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.”  Did he really have to use such language? No wonder they killed him. Acts 7:51

It is so easy to read the Bible and see only the kind words. But, God is a God of judgment. He is a God of wrath as well as a God of mercy. His prophets and wise men call people to know the truth of God. They use language that at times seems harsh.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

II Corinthians 5: 10-11.

 

Prophets need to declare God’s Word even in the face of a leader’s opposition.

Jesus said, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city.

Matthew 23:34

 

God told Jeremiah and Ezekiel not to fear the faces of the people.

 

Are there prophets and wise men today?

What are their attitudes?

Do people listen to them?

 

Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you,

No prophet is accepted in his own country.

Real prophets are not accepted by the people.

False prophets are accepted by the people.

They tell the people what they want to hear.

 

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets,

Rising early and sending them;

But ye have not hearkened,

Nor inclined your ear to hear.

Jeremiah 25:4.

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