Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Keep away from every kind of evil.
—1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
How easy it is for us to hear a word from the Lord and decide that it does not apply to our lives or that it is not for today!
Pashhur, the priest in charge of the temple of the Lord, despised Jeremiah’s prophecies against the detestable practice of sacrificing children to Baal in the valley of Topheth (Jeremiah 20:1-2). This horrible ritual took place with the heathen priests of Baal beating drums to drown out the screams of little babies being burned alive. Jeremiah said that performing such atrocities never entered God’s mind (19:5).
Humankind can stoop to some terrible deeds when there is no voice of reason. Jeremiah saw this dreadful scene of infant sacrifice and prophesied the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. When Pashhur threatened him, Jeremiah said, “I can’t stop! If I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am weary of holding it in!” (20:9).
We should not despise prophecy, but invite it. We should pray for God to give us voices in our nation to proclaim the truth before it is too late. The lives we save may be our own.