Monday: The Prophets as Historians

All through the Bible, the prophets use the phrase, “The word of the Lord” (or an equivalent “Thus says the Lord, says the Lord, etc.). In short, what they are saying is, I am not speaking these truths to you; it’s God speaking them through me. So, you’d better listen.1

How is this idea revealed in the following verses? Jer. 1:14–19.

The reader is allowed to see the painful historical process by which the capital city Jerusalem is to be handed over to Babylon, in fulfillment of God’s predictions of Israel’s fate.

Human kings, of course, rarely believe that history works this way. They imagine that their governing decisions shape public life. They think that they, ultimately, are in control. But Jeremiah (and other prophets) assert otherwise. Israel’s rulers discover that the historical process is leading the nation toward devastation and then exile. The book of Jeremiah is a stunning reminder of the power of God’s Word to be fulfilled in historical events.

How do Isaiah and Nahum testify to this similar point? Isa. 14:24–27Nah. 1:5–10.  

This infinite power of God seen in human history is also exhibited in nature. Psalm 104, for example, describes the processes of nature not as a self-contained, autonomously functioning mechanism but rather as processes in which God is acting at every moment. The Bible doesn’t portray God as having created the world and then left it on its own, leaving it in complete subjection to natural laws. Natural laws are, indeed, part of how God sustains the world, but all these laws are there only because He created and sustains them.

Many scientists declare that the world began by accident and that it will end that way, as well. Hence, there’s not much meaning to all that comes in between (how could there be?). Why, deep down, do you know that this view can’t be right?



Monday: The Prophets as Historians — 11 Comments

  1. I think I kinda got the idea on this let me see. God who has always been and is and is to be as it clearly states on the bible He has been there since the beginning of time. He tells the prophets or the writers how the things where in the past and how things are going to be in the future. The phrase "thus says the Lord" tells us that it is the Lord that is talking through his people and not the people talking through Him. Now I think we are living in the beginning of the end with the wars and everything. You know God tells of this. The hunger we see not just in 3rd world countries but now in our own country and God is telling us by the mouths' of prophets and by his words that He has been involved in every disaster every war every beginning of some thing and for the right reasons to rid the world of non believers and those who are out to hurt his people He has done it since the beginning of time. That is my thought feel free to comment I might have missed the whole point entirely.

    • Rafael, you seem to generally get the idea but there is a caution I would like to voice concerning one sentence.

      The hunger we see not just in 3rd world countries but now in our own country and God is telling us by the mouths’ of prophets and by his words that He has been involved in every disaster every war every beginning of some thing and for the right reasons to rid the world of non believers and those who are out to hurt his people He has done it since the beginning of time.

      We have to be careful what we attribute to God. We should not be like insurance companies that call all disasters an “act of God” for Job 1 refutes that idea. Nor should we feel that God wishes to rid the earth of wrong doers (Lk :54-55). To him the wheat and the tares are to grow together until the end then God will have them separated and take the righteous to Heaven.

      Part of the total misunderstanding of the Jews of the first century was that God was going to send the Messiah to rid them of the hated Romans. We too can get caught up in that same mind set and think that God is about weeding the garden. While there certainly is a weeding time, in this life it is a time “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV) rather than looking for the destruction of those who oppose us. We should learn a lesson from Jesus. While He was on the cross, even in His agony, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34 NKJV). That is the attitude of God toward His estranged people and it should be our attitude as well.

      • You are so very true, I see my mistake but now I see it very well. He give us all a chance to change even when he was sacrificed He asked God to forgive in turn we need to ask for forgiveness for us and our transgressors.

  2. Scientists are always looking for ways to answer the the famous question. How it all began? Well the answer is so simple and easy to find but satan tries so hard to discredit God by blinding the people from the truth. we use so much money and time looking for the answer. Genesis 1:1 - in the beginning God created the heavens and earth.
    I like the way the bible starts it, starts like this "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." And it ends with "Amen."

  3. Its a old song we use to sing in church, "Every Body Ought TO Know Who JESUS IS". I read He's Alpha and Omega The First and the last. and the tree of Life. But men will always debate and want to find out things its the way we were created. Thats why without Faith it's impossible to please God. So I read 1 Cor13:4-13 it help me with my THINKING with all these prophets.

  4. God is the author and controller of time, and no matter what scientists do, they cannot change that....Job 7:1, Acts 1:7

    • I am not sure that we will recognize them as such. Even Ellen White didn't call herself one but we should be able to see the fruits of their ministry.

    • When I said that we should be able to see the fruits of their ministry I wasn't saying that we would. Basically all the prophets including Jesus were thought to be heretics and condemned as false prophets in one way or another.

      There is always a problem in recognizing the ministry of the spirit. I think Ellen White said it best.

      But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. {RH, March 2, 1897 par. 4}

      That is why Jesus was rejected. Why Paul had so much trouble and why the reformers were considered to be in error.

      Two more quotes from Ellen White that should explain things:

      I am now instructed that I am not to be hindered in my work by those who engage in suppositions regarding its nature, whose minds are struggling with so many intricate problems connected with the supposed work of a prophet. My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there. It embraces much more than the minds of those who have been sowing the seeds of unbelief can comprehend.--Letter 244, 1906. (Addressed to elders of Battle Creek church.) {1SM 36.2}

      And then I appealed to them, saying: "For years you have had many evidences that the Lord has given me a work to do. These evidences could scarcely have been greater than they are. Will you brush away all these evidences as a cobweb, at the suggestion of a man's unbelief? That which makes my heart ache is the fact that many who are now perplexed and tempted are those who have had abundance of evidence, and opportunity to consider and pray and understand, and yet they do not discern the nature of the sophistries that are presented to influence them to reject the warnings God has given to save them from the delusions of these last days."
      Some have stumbled over the fact that I said I did not claim to be a prophet, and they have asked, Why is this? {UL 160.3,4}

      In other words there is more to being a prophet than just condemning false teaching like John the Baptist did. I think that it should also be noted that many that think they are acting as prophets are really not, "Many will say to Me in that day,`Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them,`I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Mat 7:22-23 NKJV). Maybe that is because we don't really understand what it means to be a prophet.

  5. Let us understand the work of prophets and the definition of prophesying (1 Cor 14:3 [KJV])

    But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

    We also see in the bible that that there are prophets in every local church because we all are sons of God and have the Holy spirit - 1 Cor 14:29-32 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If [any thing] be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

    There are other examples in the New Testament:

    Acts 19:5-7 [KJV] When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.

    Acts 21:8,9 [KJV] And the next [day] we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

    Acts 21:10 [KJV] And as we tarried [there] many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.


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