Israel is going through terrible times of devastation and destruction, and what is making it even worse is that they have no signs from God about how long it will go on for. There are no prophets left who can give the people an insight into God’s plans.
Today, as much as ever, we need God’s guidance. In our own country we see division and difficulties, and when we look around the world, we are not short of war and rumours of war. We know that God never sleeps. He is always faithful, always attentive to the world that he created. If he is speaking, are we listening? Do we have prophets?
Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which God distributes among his people as he wills. Not all believers will have the gift of prophecy, but Paul tells the believers in the Corinthian church to “earnestly desire” the gift of prophecy, to seek it and to pray for it.
Why is this gift so important? While we have the great privilege of the written Word of God available to us, it is also true that God sometimes speaks a specific word to a specific people at a specific time. We see it throughout scripture, and we know that God continues to use prophets today and will do until “the last days” when he will pour out his spirit on all people and “your sons and daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18).
It is a serious thing to seek this gift, and requires great humility to allow the words that are brought in prophecy to be weighed against scripture. And yet God’s people need his prophets in today’s troubled times, just as much as they longed for them in Asaph’s day. Let us pray that God will raise up his prophets in our churches today.
Meditation verses: The day is yours, and yours is also the night; you established the sun and the moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.