Daily Bible Reading - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society
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Moses declared: “Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’ – gods you have not known before – do not listen to them.”
Wednesday 27 September
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 As Moses prepared the people of Israel to enter the promised land, he was deeply concerned that they might be led astray from God. He knew their security and prosperity depended on them staying faithful to the God who had brought them out of Egypt and through the wilderness. But he also knew they would hear other voices. There would be people who would set themselves up as prophets and who would try to lure the people away to worship other gods. He wasn’t wrong! The Old Testament tells us about frequent occasions when the people were persuaded to follow other gods. They lurched from one god to another with sickening regularity.
The situation wasn’t so very different in the New Testament. The gods might have taken on a different appearance, but the early Church was continually challenged by people who tried to draw Christians away from God. The apostle Paul was forever battling with false teachers. He said to the Church in Thessalonica: “Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21). He knew the Church would only survive if Christians were alert to potential false teaching.
Today we have access to more voices than ever. This can lead to enormous blessing but also desperate confusion. It is important that we listen carefully to the apostle Paul’s words. We shouldn’t ever scoff at those who claim to speak in God’s name, but we should test what they say. Many so-called prophets are merely peddling their own thoughts and convictions. But having examined what they say in the light of scripture, we should then hang on to everything that is good.
QUESTION When you hear a word of prophecy how do you test it?
PRAYER Loving God, thank you for the ways in which you speak to me. Help me to test everything that I hear, and to hold on to what is good. Amen
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