Prophets and Prophecy
Whenever we hear the word prophet or prophecy, our initial mental image would be that of a fore-teller or about future events. This is because we have been conditioned by “misinformations” abounding today. Open the TV and you are immediately exposed.
Biblical prophecy is also about, but not limited to, future events. A large portion of prophetic writings deal with the current issues. The prophets speak about the present sin of the people and the consequences of it in the future. They act as God’s spokespersons to the covenant people as well as to others.
Getting the Message Across
My interest is in the way they convey God’s message. They usually do it poetically. The Hebrew text displays much of the prophet’s artistry against the erring people’s prose. Rhythm and meter are their tools to get the message across.
Another method, of which I am most interested, is via unusual actions that can really grab one’s attention. The message is artistically and forefully conveyed to the intended audience. After the interest of the audience is piqued, the prophets get the chance to verbally deliver God’s message. An example is the prophet Hosea who was asked to marry a wayward woman who runs after other men (even beating the she-camel in its heat). This news made headlines in Israel. When the people started asking why he did it, the prophet Hosea got his chance to tell the people God’s message.
Prophetic actions still occur today here in the Philippines. I always see them in the streets. And they convey powerful messages for the nation to see (thanks to modern media). They do it artistically and poetically. They grab people’s attention and gets their message across. Who are they? They are the activists that march the streets to complain and air their grievances. They lie on their backs in the middle of the road. They carry with them symbols of their protests. They burn effigies. They have the attention.
I am saddened that this method of conveying a message is utilized elsewhere other than the church. I am not saying that the church should go to the streets and march, God forbid. Prophetic actions (and ministry) belong to the church. We have a message to tell. We have the answer(singular) to life’s questions(plural). If there’s an entity that can maximize on that method, it’s us.
A New Arena
If not the streets, where? We have the pulpit. We have open-air concerts. We have community services. The venue has your imagination as its limitation. I urge each of us to think and explore; let us maximize this in the area of communicating God’s message of salvation.
Both the prophets and the church has an urgent message from God. We cannot afford to dilly dally. It will be very costly.