The Old Testament
Published 11:00 pm Friday, March 24, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve been studying the Old Testament prophets and it puzzles me that God’s people respected them while at the same time defying their messages and instead listening to the false prophets of the day. Isn’t this a form of wanting our “ears tickled”? – F.T.
Dear F.T.: No one who studies the Old Testament would claim that being a prophet of God was easy. In the time of Ezekiel, the Jewish nation was on the brink of an invasion that would soon destroy it and send most of its inhabitants into exile. And yet few wanted to hear what Ezekiel had to say, for his message warned of God’s impending judgment. Instead, they wanted to listen to [false] prophets who declared soothing words, telling them that Ezekiel was wrong and that soon the nation would experience peace. They also flocked to magicians, astrologers, and fortune tellers who claimed to know the future and promised them better days. They, too, told people that Ezekiel’s message was a lie.
Walk into any bookstore and you’ll find hundreds of books telling you how to live. Turn on the television or radio and a multitude of talk show gurus promise the same thing. But many are like the false prophets and charm merchants of Ezekiel’s day. Don’t be misled, and don’t be deceived!
We should humble ourselves before the Father in Heaven, seek His truth, obey His Word, and walk in His way instead of looking to the world for direction on how to live. Ezekiel proclaimed, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people” (Ezekiel 13:20, NIV). May we not be counted among those who exchange doctrine for ear-tickling falsehoods that lead people astray.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)