Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21
As a trial attorney, I suppose I have said it to at least a hundred or so jury panels during the voir dire examination of them, when the parties are trying to decide whom to strike from the jury panel. That’s the way our system works. The parties each get to strike a certain small number of prospective jurors, and the first 12 left comprise the jury. It is an examination for one purpose…to determine any relevant bias which may make a juror the wrong juror for a particular case. So, I have said this to all of them: “We all have biases. They don’t make us a bad person. They don’t make us liars. They don’t make us deceptive. In our area of bias, they just make us an unreliable finder of truth in that area.”
Those words rang so very true, I think, as little as 50 years ago in our culture. Truth cannot be found in bias. But, in more recent years, I fear that our bias-rich American culture is making it more and more difficult for us to explore truth without bias. I have stopped watching national news, pretty much completely. Why? Because every single national news syndicate in our country is hopelessly biased, whether by choice or by accident. I’m certain it does not matter which. What bothers me most about that sad fact is that real journalism was our last secular hope for knowing truth. Then again, maybe that was false hope from the …
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.Ezekiel 18:20
I have good news and bad news for your church and for mine. The good news: no matter how many wrong choices your church may have made in the past, God is still willing to work through you today, if you will humble yourselves and seek after Him. The bad news: you get little credit for the amazing things in your church’s past…it is your current testimony that matters. This generation of your church will stand alone in its effectiveness.
Ezekiel was dealing with the first group of Hebrews exiled to Babylon. They were the young, best and brightest of the Hebrew society. They were the intelligent, creative, young leaders. Before the exile, they had their whole productive lives in front of them. But now, it was all for naught. For all practical purposes, their productive lives were over. They would now spend the rest of those lives in exile. No surprise, then, they felt “robbed”…and they blamed their parents. They blamed the stiff-necked, rebellious nature of the generations before them for their current sad state.
The irony is that, for generations now, those very Hebrew people had been living off of the “favored” status of their own forefathers before the Lord. They had all the stories of a mighty God who had faught their forefather’s battles and who had miraculously saved them time and time again. They were living off the very spotty righteousness of their forefathers. “God promised our father, Abraham…we are his favored people.”