In a recent article for Leadership Journal, John Ortberg reminds us why it is so important to preach on the prophetic books of the Old Testament:

“The prophets have been given the crushing burden of looking at our world and seeing what God sees: rich people trying to get richer and looking the other way while poor people die. And thinking God is really pretty pleased with their lives. And that the world is going pretty well.

“We tend to avoid preaching about justice because we don’t really want to know the truth about what sin has done to our world and to us, because that would make us uncomfortable. As Micah 2:11 puts it: ‘If a liar and deceiver comes and says: “I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,” he would be just the prophet for this people.’

“We prefer preaching that tastes great and is less filling. To paraphrase the great scholar Abraham Heschel, ‘The shallowness of our moral comprehension, the incapacity to sense the depth of misery caused by our own failures, is a simple fact of fallen humanity, which no explanation can cover up.’

“Events that horrified the prophets go on every day in our world, but we just get used to it—like you get used to wearing your watch. After a while—we don’t notice any more.

“The prophets noticed. The prophets never got desensitized to sin. Injustice is sin. Justice is central to shalom. We omit justice from our preaching at the peril of our calling and of our congregation’s health and ability to see the reality around them.” (Click here to read the full article.)

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