Sunday, March 27, 2016

This, Bud, is for you.

The Word for today:
Jeremiah 24, 25
I am commissioned by the LORD to be his prophet.
(I can hear it now: "Franklyn's finally flipped out; he's lost it; he's gone grandiose on us.")
Hold the straitjacket and the meds. I'll not be needing them.
Anyone who speaks the Word of the LORD is the LORD's prophet. All that 'prophet' means is one who speaks the word of another. Thus the famous arrangement--whereby Aaron spoke what Moses told him to say--made Aaron Moses' prophet:
And the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (1)
I never found my voice in life. I searched for it, but nothing moved me to speak until I heard Jesus. Now I speak his Word; I'm his prophet.
Jesus was a prophet in just the same way. He never used his own "voice." He spoke only the Word he heard his Father speak:
"The word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me." (2)
You, too, can be a prophet. You'll need no seminary or ordination. We have been commissioned to proclaim his word:
"So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops...Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward." (3)
If you fulfill this command, your commission is far more certain than those bestowed by institutions and denominations, because it is at the direct order of the King.
The trouble with being a prophet is, well, the trouble that comes with being a prophet. People hate the prophetic voice. People want to hear, 'Peace, peace.' But, the Bible tells us, there is no peace (4)--and there will be no peace until the Prince of Peace returns to enforce the peace.
In no section of scripture do I sense God speaking more directly to us--the US of A--than in Jeremiah 25:
God is summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth. (5)
Like a lion he has left his lair. (6)
He is holding the cup of the wine of wrath out to all nations on the face of the earth.  No one will be allowed to refuse it. (7)
The prophet's voice has ever been, 'Judgment is at hand.'  The wine of the cup of God's wrath against sin will be drunk to the last drop. Unless you have designated Jesus Christ to stand in your stead and drink the cup for you, then--in the commercial parlance of the US of A--this cup, Bud, is for you.
We prophets are parrots--no more, no less.  Just birds, calling out from the housetops. But what we are is no matter. What matters is the Word we parrot, because behind that Word stands the Person who first spoke it.
He is all that matters (8). By His Word, heaven and earth were created; and by His Word, they shall dissolve in flame:
The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (9)  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His Word shall not pass away. (10)
I just tell the tale that I've been told.
(1) Exodus 7:1; (2) John 14:24; cf. John 12:49-50; cf. Deuteronomy 18:18; (3) See Matthew 10:26-42; (4) Jeremiah 8:11; (5) Jeremiah 25:29; see Matthew 10:34; (6) Jeremiah 25:38; see Revelation 5:5; (7) Jeremiah 25:15, 26, 28; (8) 1 Cor. 15:28; Colossians 3:11; (9) 2 Peter 3:10, 12; (10) Matthew 24:35

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