Despite Not Prophecies
1Thessalonians 5:19-21(KJV): Do not quench the Spirit. (20) Do not despise prophecies, (21) but test everything; hold fast what is good.
Here, the scripture instructs us not to despise prophecies.
Why would we have a tendency to despise prophecies?
We could despise prophecies because of imperfections we know in either the prophetic vessel or message or both.
For instance, Elisha curses little children that were making fun of him calling him ‘bald head’ and bears come out of the woods to kill the children (2 King 2.23-24), just like Elijah calls fire from heaven to kill soldiers sent to arrest him (2 King 1.9-14).
Now, we know from Jesus in the New Testament that God did not really approve of these things (Luke 9.54-56) yet he honoured the word of his servants.
It is easy to despise either Elisha or Elijah because of these imperfections, however, we must not do this as we see God still honouring them and His Word in their mouths.
David was a great prophet, yet he committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 12.9), but that does not do away with the accuracy of his prophetic utterances as recorded in the psalms.
In the New Testament certain brethren prophesied to Paul not to go to Jerusalem (Acts 21.4), however, their message was not very accurate. Later God sends a developed prophet called Agabus who prophesies of the difficulties Paul would face in Jerusalem (Acts 21.10-14) but God did not say Paul should not go to Jerusalem as God had said Paul would suffer for many things for His sake and bear his name before Kings as he was going to do before Caesar in Rome (Acts 23.11; 9.15-16).
We need to understand that the gift of prophecy is a supernatural utterance from God through imperfect human vessels so some times some of the message is corrupted and the vessel may also have glaring imperfections.
This, however, does not do away completely with the authenticity of the prophecy.
So Paul tells us not despise prophecies, but rather to prove or test the prophecy and hold fast to only that part of it which is good: the part of it that is in agreement with God’s Word and character as revealed through the written Word:
Isaiah 8:20(KJV): To the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because no light is in them.
Psalms 12:6(KJV): The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
James 3:17(KJV): But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.