Ezekiel 13:1-3 – 1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
In any religious setting, it is highly tempting to listen to those who claim to have a word from the deity of that religion. Cults are led by and mastered by men and women who claim to have access to a supernatural and mystical revelation that is not there for the common participant. Yet people fall for this, because we all want to have those great, deep, spiritually high experiences where we believe that we have heard the voice of God or been drawn closer to him than the average religious person.
But if you watch what God has to say in his word, most often he warns against those who claim to have heard something private from him. In Ezekiel 13, God speaks very clearly and very harshly concerning those who claim to have heard something from him. He condemns the false prophets and prophetesses who claim to have secret insight into God that others have not heard. He condemns those who claim revelation that God himself did not reveal. This is not to say that he was not speaking through prophets in that day, but that there were many who made up their own “words from God” in order to be able to tell others what to do.
Now we sit here, 2,500 years removed from the time of Ezekiel, and there are still people who long for that special secret revelation of God that will elevate them above and beyond the typical religious person. But we are in a different setting than Ezekiel. Whereas in Ezekiel’s day, God was still giving his revelation to his true prophets because the scripture had not yet been completed, in our day, there is no longer a need for such revelation. God has spoken to us and given us something solid and sure, his holy revelation—the Bible. There is no longer a need for a secret “Thus says the Lord,” because God has said what he has said clearly in the text of scripture.
Today is a great day to pause and reflect on what God has given us in his holy word. His word is more sure and more solid than any of our personal experiences (2 Peter 2:19). His word is his perfect, God-breathed communication to us that will help us to become what God wants us to be (2 Timothy 3:16-17). His word is a perfect work that changes our lives for his glory (Psalm 19:7-9; Psalm 119). His word grants to us everything that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). His word is what brings people to faith in him (John 17:20; Luke 16:28-31).
We no longer need a secret form of revelation from God that is unclear and unavailable to the rest of the world. We have God’s word perfected in the holy scriptures. The Bible is available to all Christians, and its revelation is clear, complete, and able to make us grow. So, if someone should tell you that they have a word to you from God, they had better be giving to you the words of the Holy Bible rightly interpreted and in context. That is how God speaks to his people today. Anything else is likely to be the very thing God condemns in Ezekiel 13.