In modern times, there are any number of misconceptions of what a prophet was, or wasn't in the time of Ancient Hebrews. Every time a war breaks out, tensions between nations arise, massive death due to natural disasters of some kind, there is a shout out for the “End Times, Last Days, Judgment Day etc.” Thing is the end of the world comes for us all it happens when we stop breathing. In that moment judgment is made – your body whether it decides for itself – cause that’s what bodies do, or “it’s just our time”, or some type of divine intervention – the judgment is – your finished in this world – we don’t exactly “know” with any certainty what comes next.
I resist the designation prophet. I was taught that the “age of prophets” is over, the prophets where “holy,” “saintly” “respected” “priestly.” So let me flush this out a bit. Indeed some were priests and carried official title to the claim prophet. Most were ordinary folks, shepherds, scribes, merchants and farmers. They all grew to be deeply faithful to the Creator. Moses known as the “Law Giver”, a slave, advocate and activist; Deborah in the book of Judges is recognized as a “prophetess” is a Judge or Governor – Indeed folks even in the ancient world a woman could aspire; Samuel a miracle child given over to be a priest – anointer of Kings; Elijah the international diplomat; Elisha the miracle worker; Isaiah likely an academic & scribe; Jeremiah the reluctant whiner; Jonah the rebellious prosecutioner; Daniel the visionary & dream interpreter, and many more greater & lesser, men & women.
I write as one who believes, prays, and studies history, culture, social and governing structures along with ponders, dreams, questions & experiences life. I write as one “inspired” by/through this reality. I see, hear, smell, taste & touch the world around me. I feel emotions deeply, those that come boiling up from within, & those that radiate from others. As a result I am keenly aware of injustice & am outraged – AND – I have experienced the power of divine love & forgiveness. I experience - I see - I ponder - I pray – I hear – I speak – I name what is and what is probable – I live in reality and speak with faithful Hope.
Each of the prophets, within the context they found themselves, questioned, prayed, experienced – FELT - and SPOKE – into that context – what was and what could be – named the truth in reality, pointing to the probable consequences – for good or ill – and offered hope. Those that got in the book got in because – in spite of each being persecuted in their time – what they said was truth and revealed itself by becoming reality.
Do the prophets speak to us today? Damn straight they do – not because they knew our future – but because they understood the reality of their circumstances, interpreted that reality, were inspired to speak into that reality and it came to fruition. AND, guess what folks– we are human and we have a tendency to repeat history. Are there present day prophets? That is for you to decide.
Live Freely – Love Fully – Speak Boldly