I understand a Biblical prophet to be someone who brings the Word of God to people. I’ve also learned that whenever something is repeated in the Scriptures, I need to place close attention. God is patient with me; he knows I need to be told something multiple times to finally hear it. In today’s Old Testament reading the phrase “word of the Lord” occurs eight times and it always involves a prophet speaking that word.
Paul says this about prophecy, “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” 1Corinthians 14:3
The Old Testament prophets have some very hard things to say to people. They speak words from God that are not likely to be received well. The words God gives them are meant to course correct or offer hope to the discouraged. To ignore the words of a prophet is to continue on a path of self destruction or hopelessness.
Elijah foretells God’s miraculous provision of food to a starving widow and mother during a drought. It comes to be. Jesus similarly and miraculously turns five meager barley loaves and two fish into a meal for five thousand. “After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” John 6:14 Jesus is recognized as the divine prophet who perfectly communicates God’s full Word.
Sharing God’s Word with someone is an no light responsibility. Like prophets of old, the words God gives us are meant to strengthen, encourage and comfort, but sometimes those words are not easy to say nor welcome. It takes the nudging of the Holy Spirit, humility and courage to speak up. Sometimes it scares me and I fail to deliver out of fear of the outcome; I dislike rejection but need to be willing to sacrifice my ego to speak the truth in love.
Holy Spirit, I pray you give me the wisdom and words to say when you call me to tell others about Jesus. Give me a love for you and others that overpowers any fear of rejection so that I might be faithful to the Word you have planted deep in my heart. May I trust in you for the outcome. Amen.