Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prophetic Suffering

A prophet is often called to suffering. Deep dealing at the hand of God will often be needed to prepare the prophet for receiving the word of God. Sometimes he may actually have to experience beforehand, something of what his people will experience.

Jeremiah spent many years in captivity before his people went into captivity. He was often rejected and ostracised; he was even accused of being a traitor. Ezekiel had to lie on his side for 390 days to symbolise the judgement that would come upon his nation. This suffering made the prophets extremely aware of their human frailty (Jer 20:7-10). It also equipped the prophet to give a very harsh message in a spirit of compassion.

A true message is nullified if it is spoken in the wrong spirit. Suffering softens the prophet’s spirit, so that he can give the hardest word in a spirit of love. Suffering contributed to Jeremiah’s compassion.

There is an especial message in the ministry of Jeremiah for those who are compelled to stand alone, who fall into the ground to die, who fill up what is behind of the sufferings of Christ, and through death arise to bear fruit in the great world of men, which they passionately love (F.B Meyer - Jeremiah).
A prophetic ministry involves having a foretaste of the suffering and judgement that will come as a result of the sins of the church and the whole world, since iniquity would soon be universal. In such commission one must be willing to pay the price involved in foreseeing the coming events, in suffering and experiencing them in advance. Only then can the warning be passed on. A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury and wrath of God, than his love and tenderness (A W Pink).
A messenger who has not been willing to move into close combat with reality, with the pain of the downtrodden, will not be able to bring a message of relief and healing. A painless message cannot ease the pain. A painless message cannot carry a burden. A true messenger of the Lord begins every voyage at the Cross. Each and every piece brought forth from his mouth is marked by the Cross (Lars Widerburg, Prophets Without Burden).
More at Role of a Prophet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent teaching just what I needed to find.