Don’t Shepherd Us!

Read: 1 Kings 22:1-18

There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD . . . but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil. (v. 8)

My first movie experience was Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. Its narrator, Jiminy Cricket, is the puppet’s appointed conscience. Pinocchio is perfectly willing to obey his conscience—until Jiminy says something the puppet doesn’t want to hear.

God, in his grace, appointed prophets to be the conscience of his people. When they obeyed God’s prophets, life went well. But the prophets told God’s people things they didn’t want to hear: “redistribute your resources”; “restrain your appetites”; “refrain from violence”; “recognize and revere one God.” God’s people rejected his prophets and hired prophets who told them what they wanted to hear—always to their detriment.

How often we repeat this error. We reject guidance that contradicts what we already think and constrains us from what we already want to do. We adopt “shepherds” who agree with us, often affirming actions and attitudes that prove detrimental. We desperately need to be shepherded, and yet we demand to be shepherded on our terms. What hope do we have?

God invites us to repent: turn from our way and return to him. We do this by acknowledging God’s sovereignty over every part of our lives, even when he challenges us; embracing his written word, even when it chastens us; and accepting his correction, even when it inconveniences us. Receive God’s guidance as a means of his grace. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, ask God to reintroduce his guidance to your life.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.

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