Our world does not need a prophet to see the reality of chaos and pain. In seasons of uncertainty we seek out the wisdom of our loved ones, yet we know that their wisdom is still limited. Should we look to history or philosophy, we already know that the result will be the same. So, when our world goes sideways, how are we going to respond?
When we turn to Scripture, we find a similar world in the audience of the book of Hebrews. How did the author of that great work respond to the chaos and pain in their own world? He pointed them to God’s Word, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2a ESV) There are two immediate reminders brought before us in this book: 1) God is not absent; 2) God is not silent. God has revealed Himself perfectly through His Son, Jesus Christ. In Him alone we find the long-awaited great prophet (cf. Acts 3:17-26).
When most of us think of a prophet we think of a “holy man” (whatever that would mean to someone) who speaks of future events yet to be. The Bible has a broader understanding of a prophet than this. God describes the prophet’s work in this way, “you shall be as My mouth” (Jeremiah 15:19 ESV). The prophet is primarily a messenger, who is immediately called and sent by God. The author of Hebrews echoes this point in his first words, “God spoke to our fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1b ESV). The prophets did speak of future events, but they also delivered God’s word for the present day.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, former preacher of Westminster Chapel in London said, “We need a prophet because we need to be delivered and saved from the ignorance of sin.” Sin is not merely the poor choices we make, but prior to our faith in Christ, it is indeed a part of our identity. And so, there is a great difference between a non-Christian’s sin and that of a Christian’s. The Apostle Paul wrote, “you must no longer walk as the Gentiles [Non-Christians] do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” (Ephesians 4:17-18 ESV).
The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is not merely sociological or philosophical, but is spiritual at its core. One is spiritually dead and blind to the things of God, the other spiritually alive, and able to see the world rightly. This beloved, is the miracle of spiritual regeneration or being born again. Humanity does not need another political engine or system to right her wrongs. Humanity needs wisdom from heaven and this is what Christ came to give, because He gave Himself to the Church. Until we are aware of this great need that we have, we will never flee to Christ. Only Christ’s Word can penetrate our hearts to remove the ignorance that is naturally there. And this is part of the mission of Jesus, to teach us all that the Heavenly Father desires us to know.
Beloved, we must know that God is not silent, but has been speaking even before the dawn of Creation. God has spoken clearly through His Word, but are we taking the time to listen? Christ stepped into time and space for our sake. He did so to reveal the mystery of the Gospel, to reveal more clearly who God is. Sadly however, we are more often than not too preoccupied with ourselves to care. We are far too often like children brought to a firework show, but we have mufflers on, and our heads looking everywhere but up. We must “pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1 ESV). Have your ignorance replaced with God’s glorious truth from Christ. For He is the great prophet, who has come to reveal God to us that we might be saved. Believe Him. But also believe in Him.
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