… and where would they show up naked?
Let’s get this out of the way right up front: I am not asking anyone to strip. I am not God and do not have the authority or insight to ask anyone (or take it upon myself) to show up anywhere sans Levi’s. In fact, if you are not truly hearing from God in the same way Isaiah did, your nakedness is just foolishness and not the good kind (1 Corinthians 1:21-25) either.
So, in Isaiah’s 20th chapter, God calls the prophet to go before the Nation and show them the futility of trusting in the help of Egypt and Ethiopia. They were going to be stripped bare of all that they possessed and led into captivity “bare bottomed” by Assyria.
The Lord’s purpose in giving the nations of Egypt, Ethiopia and Israel the prophet Isaiah without his britches is to graphically display the shame of their disobedience and trust in their own strength. This walking graphic novel was often what the prophets were called to…
John the Baptizer came in eating bugs and wearing itchy clothes, while his countrymen enjoyed the wealth of Roman occupation and the fatness of their genealogies. Hosea takes an adulterous woman for a wife and shows Israel both her own idolatrous heart and the love of a faithful God. There are others, but you get the point.
The prophet’s role in the world has been handed over to the Church (Col 1:24, Paul says that he takes in his body that which is lacking in the afflictions of Christ. Paul has become the representative of suffering to the world, much like the OT prophet did. We are to imitate him in this, as Paul imitates Christ.). That brings me to my question…
In what ways are we to be prophetic today? To whom do we deliver our message? What should we be speaking against/for? What does it look like; given that our God given message is mediated by the inerrant Word?
I have some ideas and I will deliver those in a post soon (and probably in a sermon or two as we enter Lent), but I thought I would get your input in this.
So… Whither the prophets of God?