Discernment In The Old Testament

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We turn to the Scripture because we know that the Sprits speaks there. In the Scripture, we find wisdom and direction. Through discernment, we find out the priorities of God in our life and thus we share the vision of coming of the Kingdom of God. 1. Discernment in the Old Testament In the Old Testament times, the word ‘discernment’ never appears clearly on account of the prevailing ideas of God and human nature during that time. God is perceived as a watch-maker, who after creating the world, has no more connection with the creation. Once the watch left the shop, it has no connection with the watch-maker. But his skilfulness is seen in its creation. Again, the idea of God as puppeteer, who holds all the strings and controls his puppets…show more content…
First of all, the action of these spirits (good and evil) is so overwhelming and powerful that it seems impossible for the one experiencing the action to resist it. Doubtless, he does not lose his personality. It is the same Saul whom the good spirit makes a marvellous chief (1Sm 11:16), while the evil spirit turns him into a cruel and suspicious tyrant (16:14-23); all the while Saul remains the man who merits praise for his bravery and condemnation for his unjustifiable jealousy. Nevertheless, in both situations he is given over to one stronger than himself. The second reason given by Guillet was that for the Israelites, both good and evil spirits have the same origin. They come from the Lord God, although the former show forth his plan of salvation and the latter will lead his adversaries to ruin (Jgs 9:23, 1 Sm 16:14-23; 18:10; 19:9; 2 Kgs 19:7; Is 19:14; 29:10). With such kind of perception of God, the early Israelites found very little relevance in the meaning of discernment. However; there are various instances in the later period, where the Lord exhorts the Israel to do discernment in remaining faithful to the covenantal relationship by listening to his voice and abandoning the false voices and false…show more content…
A discerning mind is one, which is in accordance with the will of God. We can clearly see here that discernment is a gift given by God. We have to ask the Lord for it. The prayer of Solomon was so pleasing to the Lord that He blessed Solomon more than he asked for. Solomon has asked the Lord for the gift of discernment so that he would discern between good and evil, which is another important aspect of discernment. 1.5 Good and False Prophets One of the principle concerns of the Israelites was to discern between good and false prophets. During that time, there emerged many false prophets, who were naturally in contradiction to one another. There was no unity of the message and authenticity in the interpretation of that message. The people were very much confused to determine who was actually speaking the Word of the Lord. Over the centuries certain criteria emerged like; 1. Prophecies of misfortune are likely to be authentic than prophecies of good fortune. 2. Authentic prophecy is confirmed from the prediction of “signs” which actually do come to pass. 3. The test of fidelity to the fundamental faith of Israel. 4. The life witness of the prophet will be as important as his soundness of

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