Thursday, June 28, 2007

What Prophets Do

Fun And Prophets is now available...and it should be up on the website for purchase by next week.

This album is a consideration of biblical prophets; who they are, what they do, how they function, etc., with several examples given. My intro song has this as a chorus;

These are the prophets, they speak and things change
New worlds are created, old ones rearranged
They serve as the counsellors to God Most High
So prophesy, prophet, prophesy.

When I was a younger fellow, I was taught that prophecy was two things; 1) telling the future, and 2) speaking the truth about God. I suppose that neither of these things are wrong, but nor do they tell even close to the whole story. The next time you read through the Scriptures, notice how many times God invite men into His council room and asks their opinions. I was amazed at this, but I shouldn't have been. Amos 3:7 says that God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.

A prophet seems to be one who has matured enough. He has been through the priestly stage, where he just did what he was told. This seems to correspond to childhood, where things are not always explained to the child, but obedience is expected. He has been through the kingly stage, where he is called upon both to lead and to die for the sake of his people, he has learned wisdom, he has meditated on God's law long enough to be able to discern good from evil in places where the law doesn't specify. What do you do as a king when two prostitutes come to you, each claiming the baby is hers? No law is going to tell you what to do, you need wisdom. Searching things out...this is a kingly task. This would seem to correspond to the married man raising a family.

The prophet has learned these things and done them, and is now able to effect change with his words. He can build up and tear down men and cities and cultures, by speaking The word of God to them. He corresponds to the older man, whom men look to for advice and counsel. And God values him as a counsellor; consider Abraham in Genesis 18, or Moses pleading with God after the golden calf incident. God asked them about things, they answered, and God did what they had suggested. Sounds like a counsellor to me!


Manda said...

Interesting thoughts, Uncle Jamie.
What do you suppose then is meant by the following verses:

Is. 40:13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or [being] his counsellor hath taught him?Is.40:14 With whom took he counsel, and [who] instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

If you would rather have this discussion in private, please feel free to delete my comment here and drop me an email instead.

Love you!

Jamie said...

Thanks Amanda!

I would regard the Isaiah passage, quoted in Romans, as saying that God has judgement, knowledge, and understanding, independent of anybody having to tell Him or counsel Him.

I don't think the idea that prophets serve in God's council room conflicts with this in any way. It is one of the many things that we read in Scripture which seem to be contradictory at first blush, but seen with the eyes of faith we can start to understand. For example, the apostle writes "No man has seen God at any time;...", but the seventy elders of Israel saw God, and ate and drank with Him. So which is it?

Wrong question.

My friend Dale
was talking today about the difference between a contradiction and a mystery. If God said "Love your wife!" and then said "Don't love your wife!", that would be a contradiction. But if God said "I predestine the free choices of man", this would not be a contradiction but a mystery.

By the same token, the same God who predestines everything after the counsel of His own will still invites us into His presence and commands us to pray, and then He answers our prayers. It seems He wants very much to hear from His children, and their cries to Him actually change things.

So it doesn't surprise me at all that He has human prophets in His confidence. That is the way He works, always. Even though He has no need of a counsellor.