Prophets get a bad wrap at times. However, I can see why. If someone were to ask you if you knew a prophet of Adonai, what would be your answer? There is much to ponder and sift through. Most think of Prophets and cringe. We read about them in the Bible, strong-faced men and women, adamant and strong-willed. The Biblical prophets never used their authority to sway the people or push their weight around. I think we get confused on what a prophet is because most “profits” (pun intended)we see roaming around today aren’t anything like the Biblical accounts we read about. Let’s take a walk with a few of these fiery men to get a better look into the heart of a prophet. We must remember that prophets are built and knitted together. Initially, they try to run from the call. Elijah was called a troubler of Israel, yet He was sent to correct the passive King Ahab. Let’s dissect what went down before one of the greatest showdowns we have ever read about between Elohim and the baalim.
” Now when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, the one who causes trouble for Israel?” But he answered, “I have not troubled Israel. Rather, it is you and your father’s house—by forsaking the mitzvot of Adonai and going after the Baalim” (1 Kings 18:17-18).
Oh Ahab, why couldn’t you see that it was Adonai that had sent this “troubler”? What we see in others is first found in ourselves. Ouch! The prophet endures many crushing’s and desert seasons before Adonai sends them out among the people. Those seasons of pruning’s and refining’s give the prophet the assignment and prepare him to correct his brothers and sisters. I think many view the prophet as harsh, hypocritical, or judgmental. But if we don’t understand the process of making a prophet, we will see with a dark lens. It’s funny how we think it is the prophet coming as a stink eye, yet because of the lack of understanding of the prophet, it was the people who needed corrective lenses. It is wise we remain humble and teachable. Who sent the prophets? Let’s see.
“Now it was after many days that the word of Adonai came to Elijah in the third year saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab; then I will send rain on the land. So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab” (1 Kings 18:1).
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people” (Isaiah 6:8-9).
” The word of Adonai came to him during the days of King Josiah of Judah, son of Amon, in the thirteenth year of his reign”(Jeremiah 1:2).
” This is what the Lord says: (Amos 1:3).
I want to back up a bit and go back to Isaiah 6. Something exciting takes place here. Isaiah sees a sight he will never forget. Prophets hear. The prophets see. Their senses are heightened because of everything they have endured in the night. Whether Isaiah was in a trance, had a vision, or was in a dream, he saw.
” In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw Adonai sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Temple” (Isaiah 6:6).
Can you imagine seeing six-winged, flying, fiery serpents that are passionately preaching holy, holy, holy? My heart paused for a second. In the presence of Elohim, I could not stand; could you? Then we read that one of these fiery ones, the seraphim, brings a lump of hot coal from the altar and puts it to Isiah’s lips. But before all this, Isaiah humbly cries out:
“Oy to me! For I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
This introspection is the epitome of a prophet. They cry out day and night to El. They know they are not perfect, holy, or clean. They also know they are sent to a stubborn house. Amos and others cried, “Who will listen to me? I’m just a farmer; I am slow to speak.” Yet, the Holy One knows all this and still confides the most intimate, bittersweet riddles to His prophets.
Adonai knows His prophets in the most profound sense of knowing! The mature prophet weeps in the hiding places of their caves. Then, when it is time, they appear with a deep-seated love that appears in the form of “harsh” correction and judgment. But is it? The one sent to correct must search the heart. Those that are corrected must search the heart. Is this too for our good?
“And I am dwelling among a people of unclean lips.
For my eyes have seen the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a glowing coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips. Your iniquity is taken away, and your sins atoned for” (Isaiah 6:5-6)
See how Isaiah first shares his condition before sharing the state of his fellow people? In every story of a prophet, if we look close enough, we can see the humbling before the call to correct the body. Interesting, isn’t it? We must start to look at the body with all its offices (roles) the same way Adonai looks at it. Otherwise, we will not understand the voice of the prophet. We don’t see or hear what the prophet endures behind the scenes; we judge them as harsh by what we see in front of us. Some have had fiery coals placed on the lips to appease the iniquity.
Our life lessons teach us how to minister to others. If my lips weren’t unclean, I wouldn’t have the authority to share how important it is to have clean lips—no lashon hara (evil tongue). But maybe what we think of as evil speech is a correction from Adonai? Love is correction.
What are the prophets always saying? Come back to your first love! Why does this deeply offend people? I get confused, honestly. I have been corrected in my life many times, and each time it was painful to acknowledge my flesh issue. But because someone loved me enough to correct me, I could see. I could see how my ego was causing harm. I could see how my heart desired what it wanted, regardless of the cost to others and myself. I could see how my Abba longed to be echad (one) with me. Abba, we are a people of unclean lips, yet we are your holy priests! Duality at its best.
Isaiah says something so brave: Hineni, hineni! Here I am, send me! Hahaha, I have to laugh because he is eager to serve Adonai of Hosts yet has no clue of the assignment. Adonai now gives the assignment. Can you relate?
Then He said: “Go! Tell this people: ‘Hear without understanding, and see without perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people fat, their ears heavy, and their eyes blind. Else they would see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return, and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9-10).
Did you spot the prophetic language: hear, understand, see, perceive, ears, eyes. It has always fascinated me how the prophet is a walking contranym, contradiction-a green stop sign, anyone? The prophet is an enigma for those witnessing the prophet and a surreal lifestyle for the prophet. The prophetic one is always trapped between the heavenly realm in awe and fear of what they see and hear from the Holy One. The prophet, though human, is trying to convey this spirit-filled message to their brothers and sisters. We must remember,
“Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
There is so much pain the prophet feels from all sides. I hope this blog has helped you understand the prophet a little more. This is just the tip of the iceberg or the entrance to the cave if you will. Please be more understanding with the Prophets assigned to you. Use wisdom when dealing with immature prophets; we all need correction.