Oh, to be a prophet of old. Truthfully, not one of us would with for such a task since most lived very difficult lives but one thing is clear… to hear the voice of God the way they did… that would be truly amazing.
Jeremiah records an actual back and forth conversation with God (and he’s not the only one). His opening chapter sets the scene with a “He said”… and “then I said” type of conversation. Actually, you can read this very same type of scenario of a back and forth conversation with God throughout the prophets. Even Moses had a similar conversation with God. One thing is consistent with every single one of them. They sound almost like an argument in the beginning.
God says to do something and the prophet says I cannot. But in the end, the same message is clear every time. The prophet is telling God all the reasons they cannot do whatever it is God has requested, and God says I know… you can’t but I can. In every case, it was God speaking through the prophets, not the prophets themselves performing the eventual task. He protected them, empowered them and delivered them. He acknowledges that there are forces against us, but He responds, “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.” (Jere 1:19)
Even Jesus has a similar conversation in Gethsemane on the night before He was betrayed. As the hour was nearing where Jesus would be betrayed and eventually beaten and hung on the cross, the human nature of Christ was not interested in this path. He turns to the Father and says, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt 26:39)
Casting Crowns puts it wonderfully in an amazingly powerful song, The Voice of Truth. Part of the song says:
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. “Boy, you’ll never win!”
“You’ll never win!”
The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth