Tuesday, April 30, 2024

God of Prophets

There is no shortage of prophets in the Bible - men and women of God tasked with carrying and speaking His truth in some of Israel's most trying times. But have you ever paid attention to whom the prophets are speaking?

Some of the prophets are sent to Israel's leaders - to the kings. They spend their times encountering the kings in throne rooms and courtyards and battlefields, helping the kings to assure Israel's victory or condemning the kings to defeat on account of their unfaithfulness. They continually call the kings to repentance and to restore the kingdom to proper worship, to restore the people of God to their Lord. This is an important function. 

There are other prophets who speak directly to the people of Israel. They bring God's message and cry out for repentance. They seek to restore the people to proper worship, to remind them of the goodness of God and how faithful He has been throughout their travels and trials and troubles. They call the people to account and remind them that they will have to answer for their unfaithfulness - or perhaps, they are already answering for their unfaithfulness. This is also an important function.

It's easy to read the prophets and read what they have to say about God and learn what we can about God and move on, but it's important to pause and look at who is the audience for the prophet's message.

There are some truths of God that are meant for the leaders. These truths are about being in charge, about being the one who sets the tone for everyone else, about the calling to be a shepherd. These are truths about what it takes to be responsible for others, to take control of the big scheme things, and to lead with integrity. 

There are other truths of God that are meant for anyone and everyone. These truths are about what it means to live a faithful life, how to navigate the challenges of a broken world, how to stand up to the temptations to stray, how to repent and turn back to God when you've wandered off, about God's intimate, personal love for you. 

That's why it's important that we pay attention not just to the Word we're reading, but to who was meant to hear it. If it's a word for leaders, it has a different application in your life than a word for everyone. If it's a word for everyone, it should not be confused for something only the leaders need to concern themselves with. And isn't that one of our greatest temptations? Thinking that God's Word is for someone else? Someone in a different position, someone in a different place, someone with more or less power or responsibility or whatever. 

It's not for someone else, though. Not always. That's why we have to read not only to know what is spoken, but to see who was meant to hear. Because very often, the Word of God is for us

No comments:

Post a Comment