Monday, January 23, 2012

Prophets are Different

Prophets don’t fit in easily like other people. They often seem to be off on a tangent, worrying about something that most people don’t care about. The prophet is often out of step with the mood of the times. They often seem to be misfits.

To a person endowed with prophetic insight, everyone else appears blind; to a person whose ear perceives God’s voice, everyone else appears deaf. No one is just; no knowing is strong enough, no trust complete enough. The prophet hates the approximate, he shuns the middle of the road. Man must live on the summit to avoid the abyss. There is nothing to hold to except God. Carried away by the challenge, the demand to straighten out man’s ways, the prophet is strange, one-sided, an unbearable extremist. The prophet disdains those for who God’s presence is comfort and security; to him it is a challenge, an incessant demand. God is compassion, not compromise; justice, though not inclemency. The prophet’s predictions can always be proved wrong by a change in man’s conduct, but never the certainty that God is full of compassion. The prophet’s word is a scream in the night. While the world is at ease and asleep, the prophet feels the blast from heaven. (Abraham Heschell - The Prophets).
A prophet always stands in danger of being thought insane. He does not see what other men see. He has the strangest kind of intuitive grasp of things. It seems as if fresh from heaven he is astounded by the carnality of men. He gasps and cannot stand, wondering that no one cries out (Art Katz - The Heart of a Prophet).
Ezekiel was not what we consider a normal person, but his abnormality is a key to his greatness, as has been the case with many of histories notable personality. Ezekiel’s seems to have been a harsh ministry, but zeal to vindicate God and to preserve a remnant for mission proves him to have guided by profound insight. Among the truly great men of God stands this strange contradictory figure whose creative spirit, energised by God helped to return the mainstream of religion to its proper channel of mission. Ezekiel was a man of his times, and the time in which he lived was a time of great social, political and spiritual flux, that could have become either the basis for new creative understanding of the place of God in the life of man, or the dying of and inadequate faith. It was largely due to Ezekiel that out of the ashes of destruction came the resurrection of new faith and hope (Anonymous).
Be careful! Being different does not make you a prophet. The same symptoms are present in people who are rebellious or have a bad attitude. Many difficult and contentious Christians think they are prophetic, when they really just have sin issues that they have refused to deal with. They give the prophetic ministry a bad name.

More at Character of a Prophet.

1 comment:

Gene said...

WOW, this created quite a stir...