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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

The Role of the Prophet (Modernism Part 39)

Today’s readings:

Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19

Psalm 71:1-6,15-17

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

Luke 4:21-30

In today’s world of darkness and sin, in our Church where the enemy is already within, there is a need for prophetic voices.

Prophets are raised by God to speak to His people about wrongs that they are doing. Oftentimes they speak not just to the people, but to those in authority, to both State and Church. This was the case with Jeremiah, who was to go “against Judah’s kings and princes, its priests and the people of the land.” (Jer 1:18b). Today that would be Big State and Big Church, which are coming together to reset the whole world under undemocratic totalitarian rule.

Confronting such powers can be very intimidating to prophets. Jeremiah himself said to God, “Ah, Lord God! I do not know how to speak. I am too young!” (Jer 1:6). Today we might say, “Lord, what can I say before such authorities; I am a nobody and am too powerless.” If we are authentically called, God Himself will tell us, “But you, prepare yourself; stand up and tell them all that I command you.” (Jer 1:17). We are just to obey. But then God does not leave us to our own devices. He assures us: “For I am the one who today makes you a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of bronze, against the whole land” (Jer 1:18a). Wow. If God is for us, who can be against us! Well, Big State and Big Church, that’s who. “They will fight against you” (Jer 1:19a). But here is God’s assurance: “They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you—oracle of the Lord.” (Jer 1:19).

So we are to obey and trust in God. In God we have our refuge, our deliverance, our stronghold, our safety, our protection from evil, our hope, our trust, our strength (Ps 71:1-6). So we speak out, and in doing so we glorify God. “My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, …. I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord; O God, I will tell of your singular justice.” (Ps 71:15-16).

Prophets, used by God, are often looked upon by many with favor. That is, until they speak of things that people disagree with or do not want to hear. It happened to Jesus himself. “And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth” (Lk 4:22a). But when he said Elijah was sent to a non-Israelite widow rather than to the widows of Israel, when he said Elisha cleansed Naaman the Syrian and not the many lepers in Israel, “they were all filled with fury” (Lk 4:28), expelled him from the town and even tried to kill him.

Is all the rejection and oppression worth it for a prophet? Should people today just mind their own business rather than speaking about what is wrong in the State and in the Church? But if they are called by God to speak prophetically and they do not, then how can wrongs be addressed? It becomes even more crucial, as it is today, with modernists overturning Christian teaching and practice in the Church herself.

So a person who is called to be a prophet is to be obedient, bold, confident in God’s protection and strength. He after all just acts out of love. Love for God. Love for God’s people. Love for righteousness and truth. And indeed, “if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Cor 13:2).

But love is consistent with being a prophet, as “it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Cor 13:6).

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