19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:19-21
The prophets of old were an odd bunch. They ate strange things, lived peculiar lives, and said troubling things. They often spoke with messages from God Himself. They often lived dangerously because they would reveal their prophecies to rulers who could execute them within the minute if they spoke out of line. If you’re a doom and gloom prophet, you have to know that what you have to tell the king just might land you in jail at a minimum.
And yet they spoke out against corruption and societal transgressions loudly and boldly. They themselves probably didn’t have great social lives. They certainly marched to a different drummer.
But their communion with God must have been spectacular. Think about it. God tells them to go tell the king that his kingdom was about to be destroyed. Of course I don’t know for certain, but it seems to me that there would have been quite a bit of dialog at that point.
“Tell the king? You want me to tell the king that? Are you sure? The last person who told him that was buried right outside the city gates!” They had to get it right.
So a prophet had to be absolutely certain he heard from God. The penalty for not getting it right was death.
Similarly, when your pastor steps into the pulpit every Sunday morning he should have heard clearly from God the message he wanted them to hear. Most preachers I know loved it when their members fact checked his messages. It kept them on their toes theologically, and it kept the parishioners in the Word of God. Fortunately we are under grace, and if a pastor errs slightly or misspeaks, others will be there to correct course.
Pray for your pastors today as they stand on the stage before you. Pray that the Word of God will come alive as they preach and teach.