Who is in the unique position to prophesy?
It is a light-filled Sunday morning. Air in this mountain hollow is warm on the shoulders, but not hot. Sunlight on the tall trees is noticeably white. It creates playful patches of shadow and shimmer across the landscape. Deep breathing is a joy. It is not too humid and not too dry with an abundant aroma of leaves. The song birds continue with their steady melodies, but they are not as plentiful, now that the creek is running low. Treetops sway and a little breeze reaches the ground. The small streams are altogether dry. Their dusty beds reveal hoof prints traveling both toward the creek and away from it. Being in the trees today provides great satisfaction.
The book of Isaiah is turning out to be fascinating. The prophet was a poet and a writer and a follower of God. He grabbed the public’s attention with a little political humor and then prodded their consciences in a very serious way. Historians say that he was actually a royal himself, a cousin to the king.
Around 1100 AD, his readers divided his written work into chapters with headings. They gave his book sixty-six chapters, the same number as books in the Christian Bible.
In the modern era, someone decided that the first thirty-nine chapters of Isaiah were written by the “original” Isaiah and the next twenty-seven chapters were written by a disciple of Isaiah. I was taught this many years ago as well.
Apparently nobody told Jesus or at least the writer of the gospel of John that there were two Isaiahs. John (chapter 12) specifically attributes both Isaiah 6 and Isaiah 53 to the same author.
That’s good enough for me to believe there was one Isaiah as well. The Holy Spirit knew that question would pop up 2000 years down the road! He hid the answer to the Isaiah debate in the gospel of John. Fascinating.
Isaiah’s poem in chapter 1 continued:
Your rulers are rebels
And companions of thieves;
He used, in Hebrew, a poetic play on words that sounded similar, as we might say, “Your leaders are losers.” “Your prince has a price”. “Your rulers are rebels”.
Everyone loves a bribe
And chases after rewards.
They do not defend the orphan,
Nor does the widow’s plea come before them.
Isaiah’s entertaining poetry became a serious confrontation to his relatives, the rulers of Judah. He caught them not doing their jobs. Did they send men off to battle and to die and then refuse to provide for the widows and children? Who else was so uniquely qualified to expose the royals?
But here is what I ponder: Is God telling us to be prophets in our world? Amidst all this chaos of pandemic and civil strife, who is being called to prophesy? Who can expose our leaders? Our journalists are printing emotions and propaganda. Science is no longer reliably analyzing all the facts.
Who is in the unique position to prophesy to our era?
The Saharan dust layer with light haze is here. For some reason, I thought the dust would miss the hollow because the dust originated in the east. Most winds in this area arrive from the west. Oh no. The dust layer entered the Gulf of Mexico, where the winds turned north and intruded into my area from… the west.
I did walk this morning, but now, I would lie if I told you I wasn’t sick. Whoever God is calling to prophesy, be encouraged. I’ll keep you in prayer while I sit listening to the oxygen machine and gazing out the window.
God bless you for reading. May our God strengthen the ones He calls to prophesy.