Monday, June 10, 2019

Prophets in the OT (GL38)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Ministry of Prophets
Amo 3:5-7  If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it? Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?
    In the OT, prophets were all chosen or anointed by God. A prophet, having heard God's word, would then speak or proclaim it to the king or to all the people as a fore warning, before God took any action on the land or the people.

How God revealed to Prophets
Num 11:2-3  And they said, "Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
    Moses was the meekest man on earth. Meek or total humility - the complete submission to do God's will, words and commands.
   Only to Moses, God spoke to him face to face but to all His other prophets, He spoke to them in visions or in dreams.
Num 12:6-8  Then He said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I , the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?"

Note:  Surprisingly, today, we hear of rebellious Christian leaders, who are covetous, carnal, worldly and reject His words, claiming to be His holy prophets and some even claimed to have spoken to Him face to face.

God's Promised of Holy Nation
Amo 3:1-8  Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
    Since God made this covenant with them in that they will be his priests and holy nation, God had to send His prophets to guide them to become holy. By chastising them for all their iniquities, this will help them bear the fruits of righteousness.
Exo 19:5-6  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

Good Works that Please God
Mic 6:8  He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
    God wants His people to be just and merciful. Not only were the Jews idolatrous but they were also selfish, carnal and covetous.
    So God sent His prophets to admonish and rebuke them. If they refused to listen to them, He would then afflict them with pains and sufferings.
Mic 6:11-15  Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales, and with the bag of deceitful weights? For her rich men are full of violence, her inhabitants have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you, by making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied; hunger shall be in your midst. You may carry some away, but shall not save them; and what you do rescue I will give over to the sword. You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread the olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; and make sweet wine, but not drink wine."

Prophets Sent to Rebuke Them
Amo 2:8-12  "They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge, and drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god. Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was as strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath. Also it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. I raised up some of your sons as prophets, and some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?" says the Lord. But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets saying, 'Do not prophesy!'"
    God always encouraged them by reminding them of His signs and wonders in delivering the Jews out of Egypt and confirming that nothing was impossible to Him. Yet they did not believe nor trust Him.
    So He sent His prophets to admonish them of their sins and abominations, and promised them of His forgiveness at their repentance. Yet, most of the time they rejected His love, mercy and compassion.
   Only God alone is kind, merciful and longsuffering towards these stiff-necked, proud and rebellious Jews. We thank God that His great love is now extended to all Christians in Christ Jesus.
Note:  God's love for men is beyond our understanding. We must appreciate His great love by keeping His commandments and word and avoid all sins.
Jer 35:15  "I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, 'Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.' But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me."