A Prophet’s Life for Me
As we are growing up, all of us had some dream jobs at one time or another—something that we felt destined to do. For some kids, it’s becoming a doctor or veterinarian that will work with exotic animals. For others, their dream job is becoming a policeman or a firefighter or perhaps even a soldier. Personally, I had both eyes to the skies, envisioning life as an astronaut orbiting the earth at seventeen thousand miles per hour. Overall, the spectrum of jobs that we can dream of is endless! With all of the possibilities that we can think of, it would be easy for us to pick our top five or even top ten options. That being said, there might be one job that none of us ever had on our radar: a prophet.
At this point, you might be thinking, “Hold up, Matthew, prophets aren’t around anymore. There’s no need for them now that we have Scripture! Why would we have this as one of our dream jobs?” To answer this question, we must first discuss what a prophet was. Looking through the pages of the Old Testament, there are numerous references to individuals known as prophets. Among these prophets are familiar names, such as Aaron (Exodus 7:1), Samuel (1 Samuel 3:20), Nathan (1 Kings 1:22), Elijah (1 Kings 18:22), Isaiah (2 Kings 20:1), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5), and many more. Also, within the Old Testament, we find several prophets that are never named directly. While we may tend to focus the majority of our time upon the men that appear to be the most well-known prophets of the time, the job description of every prophet was the same. Some view the role of the prophets as some sort of mystical soothsayer, foretelling things that are going to happen. However, the biblical prophets can be described straightforwardly: they were messengers for God!
The prophets were sent to God’s people to declare His messages to them. Sometimes, the prophets delivered messages from God telling His people to repent and return. Other times, the words of the prophets were God’s promises of prosperity and blessings that would come upon the nation of Israel. The prophets were given one of the most extraordinary responsibilities ever placed on man. At the same time, they certainly faced some hardships because of it. The life of a prophet was not easy. They continually faced rejection from their people and their own families. They were persecuted and harassed for the words they spoke. However, their roles in God’s plan for saving His people were essential.
As we examine our own responsibilities as God’s people, we can quickly find that we are called to be messengers for God as well. As Jesus tells His disciples in the Great Commission to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 NASB), this same commission has fallen upon us today. It is now our responsibility to declare God’s message to the world around us and to teach the world how to come to a relationship with Him. This work will undoubtedly come with its fair share of challenges and hardships, just as the prophets had. That being said, we have been given the most excellent opportunity to serve the Lord! While we may not be prophets in the same way that Elijah, Isaiah, or Jeremiah were, we share the same responsibility. I don’t know if there will ever be a time when you hear a little kid say that their dream job is to be a prophet of God, but as Christians, what better job could we have?