Sunday, May 28, 2017

Swimming Upstream

The Old Testament prophets were a bold and determined lot of men.  There was a single mindedness about them which made them seem like they were always going against the flow.  They were men who always seemed to have a sense of what God was doing in the world and not afraid to speak of it.  Tolerating contrary or compromising viewpoints was not in their wheelhouse.  When they spoke it was not as men who said, "Friend, you might want to be open to this possibility," but, "Thus says the Lord."  Quite a bit of difference.
Of course, we would say that such people are not going to be popular.  They are not going to be accepted.  This is true.  And while the prophets were just ordinary men who would have preferred the pat on the back instead of disdain, disregard, and being dragged into prison, their overriding issue was not about personal pleasure, but about pleasing God.  As difficult as their faithfulness to God made their lives, they would not be swayed to walk a different road. 
Today's folks would call them fanatics who are out of step.  Such would no doubt be declared by some of today's respectable church folks.  Single minded people are generally dismissed as blinded by their pre-occupation with their mission.  A casual look at our culture shows us where this attitude has taken us.  Maybe what the world and the church needs are more people like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, or some of those who stood shoulder to shoulder with them daring to speak for God.  If Israel at the time of Jesus mourned the fact that there were no prophets of God, we should be wearing sack cloth and ashes every day.

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