Throughout the bible and recorded history, prophets haven’t had an easy time of it. They have often been ignored, despised, mocked and it was not unusual for them to be physically attacked or even killed like Zechariah (2 Corinthians 24: 21).
Frequently, the message they bore would include some uncomfortable, or unwelcome, truths that people would prefer not to hear. Sometimes, it is not that people did not hear the message but that they did not want to believe it or were, perhaps, just plain skeptical.
When we hear things we don’t like, we will sometimes try and ignore it or perhaps try and put some more convenient interpretation on the message, an interpretation that is less uncomfortable, less ‘taxing’. An interpretation that ‘fits’ what we expect or, more often, what we want to believe.
Sometimes, we might be afraid of the message and so we lash out at the messenger, instead of critically considering our own motivation, which is usually in the way that benefits or if not actually benefits is easiest for us to deal with.
Even when prophesy portends good and not doom-and-gloom, It will often be seen as meaning change. People do not like change, are afraid, or uncomfortable with change. Change disrupts comfortable routines and upsets the status quo. People feel a need to hang on to the familiar, even, sometimes, when the familiar is not that good. Change is a challenge, that lots of people will see as a threat but that a few will dare to confront and fewer still embrace.
Not all change is good. Progress means change but change does not always mean progress.
Jesus changed the world; are you ready to change
Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord
(Proverbs 16:20 NIV)