Friday, July 10, 2020

Prophets and Rulers (5) Warning of Danger

Some dangers will be physical threats. In Old Testament times, communications were slower than today, so prophets would warn of attacking armies before the military watchmen had seen them coming.

In the modern world, the threats of danger will more like be spiritually based, even if the ultimate effect is physical, ie death or injury.

  • The prophets warned covenant kings when dangers were threatening.

    • Jeremiah warned King Zedekiah what would happen to him because the spiritual powers of evil had gained authority to destroy Jerusalem (Jer 34:2-3; 39:6) He gave a similar warning to King Jehoiachin (Jer 35:30-31).

    • Elisha warned when the King of Aram as attacking Israel, before he got there (2 Kings 6:9-10).

  • The Old Testament prophets did not usually warn the pagan kings about threats of danger to them.

    • Isaiah did not warn Sennacherib that his armies would be struck down by a plague (Is 19).

    • The one exception is Nebuchadnezzar, who was warned of a massive spiritual collapse that would strike him down (Daniel 4). I think God did this to demonstrate his sovereignty over pagan kings in a very public way. We should not happen this to happen very often.

    • Belshazzar got about 12 hours warning about an invasion by the Medes (Dan 5:22-30). This warning was probably more to raise Daniel up before the new emperor than to warn the Babylonian king.

  • Non-Christian rulers will be vulnerable to spiritual attack. These spiritual attacks might sometimes translate into physical threats. God is not obliged to warn rulers who have rejected his grace about troubles that are coming against them. However, if God does reveal to a Christian prophet that a non-Christian ruler is threatened by spiritual or physical danger, the prophet should share as the Holy Spirit leads. The ruler might not be willing to heed a warning from a Christian prophet, but sounding an alarm is the gracious thing to do.

  • Prophets should warn a Christian ruler about any threats of danger that God reveals to them.

    • The warning is most likely to come from a prophet who is fellowship with the ruler.

    • The prophet Agabus warned Paul about the danger that would face him when he arrived in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-11). I presume that he would have done the same for a believing ruler if he had encountered one.

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