Keen Discernment

Day 152

Prayer for the day

The LORD lives! Blessed is my Rock!

Scripture for the day

2 Chronicles 17-18, John 13:1-20

The story of the kings of Judah and Israel in today’s reading is fascinating for a number of reasons. One of the most interesting aspects is how Jehoshaphat recognizes that the prophets who are speaking in the presence of Ahab are not speaking the truth, nor are they speaking by YHWH. There is no real clue in the text to tell us HOW he knows that they are false, but know he does. He calls Ahab out and asks if there is not one prophet, one true prophet, of YHWH among the king’s people.

The question is a powerful one. Jehoshaphat has noticed that all the prophets are giving the same prophecy, that it is a favourable one, and there is something in him that doubts the prophecies as given. He sees something is off, and waits until he hears from the real man of God.

Ahab, on the other hand, desires to hear only what is pleasing to his ears. He does not care for the word of God, but for the pleasing words of men, and he gets them in full supply. This is, unfortunately for him, his downfall, as he is killed in the battle.

It would seem that this ability to discern rightly the word of God is a useful thing.

Jesus displays the same ability to read people when he is sitting with his disciples. John makes very clear the fact that Jesus can tell that one of them will be his betrayer, as well as being able to read the hearts of the rest of the disciples. As in other passages, we’re left wondering how much of his knowledge is divine and how much is perception, but regardless of percentages, Jesus obviously cares to discern the truth from the lies.

And Jesus continues to do so as he hears his church call out to him. How often are we careful to try to distinguish the truth from the lies, and are we, like Jesus, basing our discernment on something as concrete as the truth of God, or do we waver, seeking whatever sounds best to us?

We would do well to discern well.

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