The Problem with Prophets
Most people tend to think of prophets as people who foretell the future. The biblical notion of a prophet is much different. A prophet is someone who speaks on behalf of God. Sometimes their messages are about the future, but most of the time they are concerned with talking to people about the present moment. The Old Testament is filled with stories of prophets. One thing they all seem to have in common is that it often doesn’t go very well for the prophets. They all end up ridiculed or dead.
The problem with prophets is that God doesn’t normally send them when everything is going well. Normally, a prophet is sent to say that God is not happy or that we need to change somehow. Not surprisingly, we tend to shoot the messenger. It’s a tough job to be a prophet. The interesting thing about the Christian life is that not only are we called to listen to the prophets that God sends us even today, but we are also called to be prophets. By virtue of our baptism, each of us is a prophet. That means we are to speak about God and bear witness to him by our words and actions, just like the prophets of old.
So how are we doing? What message does your life send? What kind of prophet for God are you?