If you are reading through the Bible following our Resting at the River’s Edge schedule, you will begin to read the book of Jeremiah today. The book of Jeremiah is many things, but one of the things I love about it is that it is such a primer on how prophecy “works” – how it happens – in other words, how God speaks to His people.

Now don’t think I’m saying that God always speaks to His people in a certain way. That’s not where I’m going. As you read through Jeremiah, though, watch how God gives Jeremiah prophetic words. Here’s an example from chapter 1:

13The word of the LORD came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north,” I answered.
14The LORD said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.

– Jeremiah 1:13-14

The Lord used the things around Jeremiah as illustrations to prophecy about things to come. Since learning this, when I am particularly distracted by or my attention is arrested by something, I often pray “Lord, are you trying to tell me something? Is there something in this? I see…..” I then begin to describe to the Lord what I see. Often while I describing the scene, I receive an interpretation of it.

For example, once I was at church worshiping. We met in a school auditorium, so the worship team was on the stage and there was a chair very near the edge of the stage. A little boy kept climbing on the chair, reaching forward to grasp something on the stage. As he did so, the chair would tip backwards and came dangerously close to tipping over, sending the child tumbling. Periodically his mother would see him, sit him in the chair with a short scolding. He would pout for a few minutes, then climb back up on the chair and begin to reach onto the stage again.

After a while I realized that I was thoroughly distracted from worship, but I remembered the “what do you see” lesson. So I began to ask God if he was saying something to me and I described what I saw. God didn’t waste any time in revealing to me that I was often like that little boy. Climbing to places I shouldn’t go yet, dangerously tipping my “chair” as I reached for things God hadn’t given me yet. (How thankful I became for God’s protection.) He didn’t stop there, though. He went on to say that I was also like that little boy in that when God did “sit me down” I would pout for a while, then turn around and begin to explore beyond my reach once again. Ouch! But how wonderful for God to speak to me about it!

Of course there are many other things in Jeremiah, but I’ll leave them to you to discover. Enjoy your reading this month! I pray that God speaks to you daily as you rest with Him at the river’s edge.

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