Why is the human heart so opposed to hearing the truth and acting on it? I remember as a child I used to hate it when my parents would tell me something and turn out to be right. If the truth be told, I probably still struggle with that a little today. Who wants to hear the hard truth and then find out that it’s absolutely right? The pride of our hearts so often prevents the prophet from performing his or her ministry.
The message of Lent, though, is that the prophets – all of them – whether they be Scriptural prophets, or those who spoke the truth to us because they want the best for us – are speaking truth. The prophets of Scripture speak Truth to us in an elevated way, of course. And our task during Lent has to be to give up whatever pride in us refuses to hear the voice of the prophet or refuses to accept the prophetic message, and instead turn to the Lord and rejoice in the truth.
The prophets of our native land – those prophets who are closest to us – are the ones we least want to hear. Because they know the right buttons to push, they know our sinfulness, our weakness, and our brokenness. That’s how it was for the people of Jesus’ home town. But we also desperately want to avoid being confronted with truth. Yet if we would open our ears to hear and our hearts to understand, then maybe just like Naaman, we would come out of the river clean and ready to profess our faith in the only God once again.
Athirst is my soul for the living God – that is what the Psalmist prays today. And that is the true prayer of all of our hearts. All we have to do is get past the obstacles of pride and let those prophets show us the way to him. Then we would never thirst again.