A man recently wrote the following to our ministry: “I don’t know who put me on your mailing list, but please remove my name immediately. I can’t stand your gloomy gospel and your hammering against sin. None of us is perfect, not even you. I’ve had it with your King James gospel of doom.”
Isaiah spoke of this kind of response: “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way” (Isaiah 30:9-11).
The word “smooth” in this verse means “nice, flattery.” The people of Israel were saying, in short, “Don't tell us any more bad stuff. Describe how we’re going to prosper, how great things lie ahead of us. If not, then get out of our faces.”
No believer who hides sin in his heart ever wants to hear a holy, sin-exposing word. That person will always flee the Holy Spirit’s voice of truth. And he’ll turn to some preacher who is soft on sin, offering smooth talk and flattering prophecies.
So, you ask, what hard message did God’s voice deliver to His people on Mount Sinai? He said simply this: “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image. . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them” (Deuteronomy 5:6-9).
Here was the pure, unadulterated word of the Lord, coming directly from His mouth. It should have sent the people flying to their tents to smash their graven images. It should have stirred their hearts and brought them to their knees. But instead they cried, “No more thunder, fire, shaking. No more audible voice speaking to us. Give us a spokesman who is like us, and let him speak to us. Then we’ll hear and obey.”