Have you ever been struggling for direction and looked to others for insight or counsel? We see many times in Scripture when people approached prophets or godly men and women for guidance. However, there were other times when people said they were hearing from God in an attempt to manipulate or distract people from the right path.
For example, as I’m reading through 1 and 2 Kings lately, I find several instances of people trying to put words in God’s mouth. This can be difficult when we are at a crossroads and two people with two different opinions both claim to be speaking for God!
King Hezekiah faced the huge destroying army of Assyria. God promised Judah victory if they would trust in Him. This wouldn’t have been easy to do – trusting God – it was against all human odds. Have you ever been there? This is a place where you feel like God is leading you to do something that anyone else would tell you makes no sense.
Humanly, logically, Hezekiah should have surrendered to Assyria. In fact the army commander spoke these words of intimidation in 2 Kings 18:24-25, “With your tiny army, how can you think of challenging even the weakest contingent of my master’s troops, even with the help of Egypt’s chariots and charioteers? What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the Lord’s direction? The Lord himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!’”
Hezekiah prayed and then consulted the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah told him this, “‘After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah, the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’”
Both people claim the Lord has spoken to them. One is an enemy who wants to destroy them but all physical evidence backs up what he says. Another is a prophet of God who brings a good message but will require depending on God alone and mean abandoning human effort. Hezekiah then prays a bold prayer. He says:
“Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” (2 Kings 19:16-19)
I’m not sure what opposing voices you are encountering today. If you aren’t sure if someone is putting words in God’s mouth, then like Hezekiah – ask God to bend down and listen. Trust Him to give you discernment to follow Him no matter what logic or other people say. God rescued Hezekiah in a mighty way by supernaturally delivering him from Assyria. He will rescue us too.
Spend a few minutes today asking God to help you hear His voice and recognize when others are trying to put words into His mouth.