The watchman says: “Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again.” Isaiah 21:12
Sometimes the watchman doesn’t have clear answers. He or she can only see so far. “How much longer until the night is over?” “Morning is coming, but it’s still dark.” Hope is on the horizon but it’s too far out at this point to tell how soon it will be here.
To be honest with our limitations in what we know is important. We can always fill in the gaps with encouraging words to make people feel better. However, if this is based on our gift of mercy and not on our prophetic gift, we’re not doing our job well.
The watchman on the watchtower, wall or city gate had the advantage of seeing further out simply by being higher up. The prophet has the ability by the grace of God to see further down the road into things to come without having necessarily the full picture.
What we say determines our credibility. If we say more than we know we may end up in hot water. We may not be able to defend our words when things turn out considerably different.
If we remain faithful in communicating what we see or hear, God will be faithful to do His part.
I remember one time the Lord gave me a Scripture to give to a couple that was struggling to get pregnant: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb of a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He should not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)
We don’t prophesy mates, babies or dates. I felt like Elisha promising a son to the Shunamite woman. (1 Kings 4:16) I prefaced it with, “I have a present for you” and then I read the verses that the Lord had given me. As I read them, I wondered if they were to adopt, but I did not say that. I simply left the word of the Lord with them. I had not promised them a baby or multiple children, but I had implied it.
This is what I felt like the Lord wanted me to say . That was several years ago. They have since adopted two children.
Sometimes we can’t know far enough in advance how the Lord is going to fulfill His word and His promises to people.
Hope is on the horizon. Let us proclaim that hope to the extent that we have instruction from the Lord.
By Ralph Veenstra