Popular Misconceptions

Today's Bible reading: Deuteronomy 18:1-22

If I were to ask you: “What did the prophets do?” … how would you answer?  I think most people, if asked this question, would probably say: “prophets foretold the future.”   Well, that answer is true enough – but only in part.  Foretelling the future certainly did belong to the message of the prophet.  However, their message was not simply foretelling.  A better way of saying it would be that the prophets’ message was forth-telling.  Prophets proclaimed a message which embraced past, present, and future.

Another popular misconception about prophets is this idea that they were somehow revolutionaries – people calling for social justice … for an end to oppression of the poor.  Again, that is true in part – they certainly did call for righteousness and the remedying of social evils … but their vision of what Israel should be was not some kind of a new moral program.  Prophets were essentially conservative, not revolutionary.  This is a key thing for us to understand.  They called for repentance … for returning back to God … and to obedience to His will.  So we often hear them reminding Israel of God's great mercies in the past …and of His covenant … as well as of Israel's past sins.  Because the Lord is always consistent, they could point to certain disaster if the people persisted in there idolatry.  And yet they could - on the same basis - point to the certainty of God’s saving acts in the future – because God is always faithful to His promises.

Prayer: O God, may Your Word continue to accomplish Your purposes among us and around the world.  Teach us to hold Your Word sacred and gladly hear and learn it; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.