What the Prophets Have In Common with My Mirror

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What the Prophets Have In Common with My Mirror

Every year, as I spend the first four months doing a Bible Read Thru, the same feeling shows up in my belly during Month Three. Anticipation. I find myself anticipating April. Anticipating the New Testament. Anticipating Jesus. Anticipating hope, joy, salvation, and restoration. I’m almost there.

And yet, there’s another feeling that accompanies my anticipation. Heaviness. Somberness. Bummed-out-ness. The perpetual “ugh” I find in the pages of the prophets. It seems like page after page is bad news:

  • “Wake up Israel!”
  • “You’re headed in the wrong direction.”
  • “This is not going to end well if you keep doing what you’re doing.”
  • “Are you ever going to listen?”
  • “What are you thinking?!”

I finished Isaiah last week and I’m in Jeremiah now. The heaviness and the “ugh” hit really hard last week as I was wrapping up Isaiah. Only a few pages from the end and I read these words.

The Lord says,

“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.

I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.

I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.

All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.

But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes.” (Isaiah 65:1-2)

That day it really hit me: Isaiah – and the rest of the prophets – are a lot like my mirror.

The prophets force me to look at myself.

Have you noticed that it is really hard to even walk by a mirror without looking at yourself? Whether you are getting ready in the morning or meandering by the hallway mirror, we look. When I do – there I am. Always. I have never looked in a mirror and not seen myself. It is just the way mirrors work.

The same thing happens with the prophets. As I read Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the rest, I see myself. Yes, I know they were talking about Israel, Judah, Babylon, and other surrounding nations. But God knew what He was doing, didn’t He? He knew what I was going to be like. He knew that I would be so much like Israel. He knew that just as they needed to take a long, hard look at themselves – so do I.

The prophets don’t sugarcoat anything.

How’s that for an understatement? Sometimes when I am reading the prophets, I find myself wondering if they would have had better luck getting people to listen if they softened the blow a bit. But that’s not part of the Prophet Code of Conduct. God says, “Do this.” They do it. God says, “Say this.” They say it. They reflect and repeat whatever God shows them or tells them.

The prophets tell it like it is. Just like my mirror. And oftentimes…it hurts. (The prophets and my mirror.)

The prophets remind me that God isn’t going anywhere.

We can try to dodge out of the way of a mirror but the image is always there. You might not be looking into the mirror at this moment, but when you do, there you are.

When I look into the “mirror” of the prophets, I find God saying, “Guess what? I am still here. I’ve always been here. I am the same. I have been pursuing you, loving you, forgiving you, and giving you second chances. And I still am.”

It is both deeply painful – and indescribably encouraging – to hear God say Isaiah’s words to me:

“Keith…I was ready to respond, but you didn’t ask for help.

I was ready to be found, but you weren’t looking for me.

I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a child that did not call on my name.

All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious person.

But you follow your own evil paths and your own crooked schemes.”

Ugh.

And somehow, right alongside the “ugh” is hope. Hope that God is still ready to respond. He is still ready to be found. He is still saying, “Here I am, here I am!” He is still opening his arms.

I might not always like the prophets. But oh, do I need them.

How about you? What is your response to the prophets? 

Check out an earlier post by Keith here.

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About The Author
Keith Ferrin
Keith Ferrin
Keith Ferrin founded That You May Know Ministries and has been doing dramatic presentations of Scripture since March of 1996. Keith has presented around the United States and Europe at conferences, churches, universities, Christian schools, military bases, outreach events, and various camps and retreats. Keith graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a degree in Psychology. He also holds a Masters of Education in Guidance and Counseling, and worked for two years asan elementary school counselor. He received dramatic training working privately with Terry Edward Moore, co-founder of the Seattle Shakespeare Festival. Keith is the author of Falling in Love with God’s Word and Like Ice Cream and has been utilized as a speaker for retreats, conferences, outreach events, and fundraisers. His practical, humorous, and thought provoking style makes the Word come alive for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. From December of 1991 to August of 1997, Keith was a youth and worship pastor in Tacoma, Washington. Since then, That You May Know Ministries has been his primary vocation. Keith also enjoys coaching individuals and teams in the areas of communication and public speaking. He does this through his other company - True Success Coaching, LLC. Keith and his wife Kari live near Seattle with their three children.
18 Comments
Leave a response
  • Linda Carroll-Horne
    March 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Heal Him Lord! lol!1

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  • Jean Weigel
    March 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Nice job, on this Post!

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  • Keith Ferrin
    March 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks Jean. Glad you liked it. Prophets and painful…and needed. 🙂

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  • Recon Evans
    March 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Cool

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  • Ruth Penland
    March 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Very good!

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  • Linda Steele Sperry
    March 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

    WoW. I enjoyed reading that so much. And it is so true about us the mirror the prophets and GOD. God sure has a bead on us doesn’t he.

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  • Burgie Larry Licano
    March 30, 2013 at 12:50 am

    cheesy!

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  • John Snowberger
    March 30, 2013 at 5:40 am

    Prophets tell it like it is because that’s the way it is Mindy

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  • Evelyn Mirabal
    May 28, 2013 at 6:06 am

    YES

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  • Felisa Sarino Asis
    May 28, 2013 at 6:11 am

    I SAY BE CAREFUL….

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  • Marian Fraley
    May 28, 2013 at 6:37 am

    YES

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  • Norman David Axelson
    May 28, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Receiving what is told to us can be important to us if it is coming from someone we know TELLS US THE TRUTH. So many times people who we think care about us are out to gain something or make them feel better about themselves.

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  • Yessenia Lazo
    May 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

    It depends, and I need to remind you that pains has different levels. Slow, moderate and high.

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  • Darlene Barton
    May 28, 2013 at 9:28 am

    So true, no pain, no gain!

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  • Lisa Harper
    May 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Amen!!!!

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  • Linda Dixon
    June 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I don’t particularlly like what I see as I am getting older now – kind of “chubby ” – getting a little more wrinkles – not as quick as I used to be – ( short term memory is getting shorter all the time ) – etc… But I know the Lord likes what HE sees in my Heart – which is a heart that delights after Him ! And as I am getting older it seems like as other things are starting to fade a little more and more – Praise God the Love Jesus has brought into my heart just keeps getting more and more and more drawn to His beautiful Heart – and it seems like I just can’t speak enough about Him whenever I get the chance. There is a lot of precious sweet love we experience in this world from family – children

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