Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days
he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
[Hebrews 1: 1–2]
The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah.
[Jeremiah 1: 1–2]
God is revealed through the words of the prophets. We hear God speaking through Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Elijah, and many others. God speaks words of love, words of warning, and words of rebuke. We love to read God speaking words of love. They remind us how precious we are as God’s children; they make us feel special and encourage us.
We often feel less comfortable when we read God’s words of warning or rebuke, words that tell us we are wrong and that bad things will happen. I often hear people say how children today do not like to hear ‘no’, but I think this is also true of adults too. How many of us like hearing that we have done something wrong and that there will be consequences? These passages often lead to people saying that we follow a cruel God, but I think they misunderstand. If you love someone, you tell them how much and show them. This love can be hugs and kind words, yet when they are in danger of taking a wrong path, or doing something that will hurt them – then love is shown through warning them, and occasionally giving consequences for bad behaviour. This is not cruel – it is caring for their wellbeing.
Many hymns tell of God speaking to us: ‘Speak O Lord’, by Keith and Kristyn Getty, asks God to speak to us now. ‘Have you heard God’s voice?’ by Jacqueline Jones challenges us to listen to what God is saying and follow the instructions we are given.
You spoke through prophets long ago:
Words to your people then,
Words to your people now,
Words to those not yet born.
Help us to hear and follow your words,
Knowing that you want the best for us.