Despise not prophesyings. (1 Thessalonians 5:20 KJV)
Paul commanded the Thessalonians not to despise prophecies. To despise prophecy means to scorn, reject or treat prophecies with contempt. Many questions immediately come to mind as we understand the meaning of this instruction. We will attempt to answer just two of these.
The first is this: why is Paul cautioning the believers not to despise prophecies? The preceding verse says
“Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 KJV). A clear example of quenching the fire of the Spirit is by despising prophecies. The next and most troublesome question is why is prophecy so liable to contempt. Let me discuss one of many possible reasons. Prophecy comes to us as human words, that is, it is another brother or sister in Christ who will be speaking to us. This creates some problems. First, prophecy demands that we believe the words we are hearing though they are spoken by a person and are indeed God’s words. Second, since prophecy comes through a human vessel, it is very liable to human corruption and error.
In fact, one major root cause of why believers despise prophecies is an uncomfortable or unpleasant prior experience due to errors not related to the prophecy itself but because of the human element associated with the delivery of the prophetic message. Yet, despite these and many other reasons we might have to despise prophecies, the Lord says “despise not prophesyings” so it is our responsibility to ensure we are not led astray rather than quenching the Spirit of God.
Have you also been tempted to despise prophesying? What are some of the reasons why you are also tempted to despise prophecies?
APPLY THE WORD
“Despise not prophesying” is not the same as saying we should believe every prophecy! Prophecy is one gift in Church that has the capacity to build and bless as well as ruin and destroy if in error. We must recognize that there can be error in prophecy due to the human element and take up our responsibility to be spiritually mature to discern God’s voice in the so many “prophetic messages” we get.
Pray the Lord helps you avoid despising prophecy or quenching His Spirit.
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