A Message from the Prophets?

One of best things about being a Scripture professor is that I get to read a lot of the Bible.  Early in the year I volunteered to teach a course this May at the National Seminary in Beijing.  I sent the dean a list of all the courses I’ve ever taught, offering to teach any he should choose.  But he asked me to teach on the OT Historical Books, so I got to re-read and teach Joshua to 2 Kings.

This summer I’m doing a directed readings course with a couple students on the Prophets, another course I’ve not taught before.  So now I’m reading through the Prophets.  One of the things that strikes me is certain parallels between the situation of Israel and Judah in the eight century B.C., before decisive judgment landed on them, and the situation of the Church and of the Western world today.

Although there was a faithful remnant among God’s people in the eighth century B.C., there were many who had adopted the pagan ways of the surrounding culture.  Many in Israel were affluent, some oppressed the poor, and many engaged in idolatry and immorality.  Sound familiar?

Back then those who spoke for God said that severe judgment was coming.  I’m sorry to say I’m convinced that, unless there is a radical change of direction, severe judgment is coming on the Western world that once was Christian but has in large measure apostatized—including America.

You don’t have to be a prophet to reach this conclusion—just a halfway alert reader of the Bible.  God acts in history to judge both his people and the nations.  This is a basic teaching of the historical books and of the prophets.

So, what will happen to a Judeo-Christian society when it kills millions of infants in the womb, when it pursues wealth and uses it self-indulgently, when it surrenders itself to unrestrained sexual immorality?  You don’t need a PhD in biblical exegesis to know the perspective of Scripture on this situation.

What’s amazing to me is how few are expressing this prophetic perspective and summoning the Church to repentance, despite the many indications that judgment has already begun.  Where are the prophets?

Today I’m in Micah.  Here are some verses that strike me:

Micah 2:6 “Do not preach” — thus they preach — “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.”

Apparently, words about coming judgment were not welcome then either!

Micah 2:4  In that day they shall… moan bitterly, and say, “We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! To an apostate he allots our fields.”

When God judges his people he does so at the hands of those who are not his chosen people, even at the hands of the wicked.  We should not be surprised then, when secularists, Muslims, or non-Christian nations prevail politically or economically over the Lord’s inheritance, the once-Christian West.

Finally, after prophesying judgment on corrupt leaders–civil authorities, priests, and prophets–Micah cries out,

Micah 3:8  But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.

The Lord will fill some with the Spirit of prophecy to speak to our generation, to the Christian people today.

May we be those who listen and repent!  May we be those who receive the Spirit and prophesy!

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17 Comments

Filed under current events, Peter Williamson, Uncategorized

17 responses to “A Message from the Prophets?

  1. Paul Major

    I lead Scripture studies in my Parish and this past year we read and discussed the Prophets. One constant response from the people was something like: “these were written when? 2800 years ago? They are so applicable today!”

    Some of my favorites (among many) are from Hosea 4:
    Hosea 4:1 There is no fidelity, no mercy, no knowledge of God in the land.
    Hosea 4:6 My people perish for want of knowledge!
    Hosea 4:14 So must a people without understanding come to ruin.

  2. Mark

    Thank you for being willing to be one of those voices!

  3. How timely. We need to hear and understand this message; it is for our time. Today, as always, the Godly remnant exists, but it is small. However, as the experiences recorded in the OT testify, a small faithful remnant is better than having a large lukewarm politically correct Church.

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  5. mike

    The Lord has filled some with the Spirit of prophecy and they have been speaking to our generation for some time. A short list of Catholic and Protestant listed below.

    http://www.apelosurgentes.com.br/english/

    http://pelianito.stblogs.com/

    http://www.wordsfromjesus.com/

    http://hisprophet.net/

    http://www.angelfire.com/in/HisTruth/panoFlipBook/index.htm

    http://www.johnleary.com/

    http://www.valentina-sydneyseer.com.au/indes.htm

    http://www.godspeakswillyoulisten.org/index.html

    At this point should we expect to have our ears tickled?

  6. That is a great observation and thank you for pointing it out!

  7. Linus

    I’ve been reading the prophets too and had the same thought.

  8. c matt

    I was always fascinated by the prophets. The predictions they made were not just because of some special revelation, but because they were also so attuned to the will of God that they understood how fidelity to His word brings prosperity and security, while rejection of it is basically self-destructive for individuals and society. Once they make that connection, the rest was pointing out the obvious.

    Plus ca change, plus le meme chose!

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  10. Billy Bean

    I believe that the Protestant evangelical Francis Schaeffer has much to teach the West, even today. His works, though not without flaw in their analysis and oversimplification, are truly prophetic in spirit. A voice Catholics and all true Christians should now be heeding is Father Robert Barron, of Wordonfire Ministries. Among the Eastern Orthodox, I would name Father Thomas Hopko and Father Josiah Trenham. For all who consider themselves Mere Christians, which includes Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and evangelical Protestants, hear C.S. Lewis, especially in his “The Abolition of Man.”

  11. richard

    We in the West are already undergoing severe judgement.

  12. Ann

    Would have to agree. A year ago when “A Walk Through The Bible” was being taught, so many times we shared that the judgment of God upon rebellious Israel was surely due us for the same reasons: abortion & contraception which we export to many countries (or they get no dollars from the USA), pornography worldwide, drug abuse, sexual and psychological abuse on a massive scale, and on and on. We often wondered why the Lord was delaying judgment on us. This year’s weather: judgment no longer delayed. Those of us in California wonder what is in store for us; we are the land of earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes. Therese Neumann, a holy woman who had the stigmata, often told the servicemen who visited her during and after WWII, that God would bring America to its knees through the elements! That could very well mean wild weather.

    • Ann said, “…abortion & contraception which we export to many countries (or they get no dollars from the USA), pornography worldwide, drug abuse, sexual and psychological abuse on a massive scale, and on and on.”

      And we wonder why the Muslims are so angry with us?

  13. Vince Daigle

    Something, I suggest we should all reflect on.
    For great support to this blog, go to Mark Mallett’s “Spiritual Food For Thought”
    at ‘spiritualfood@markmallett.com’ and you will be amazed at his frequent
    teachings over several past years.

  14. As with all the words of the prophets (words from God Himself, really, when you think about it), “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” (Mt 11:15). And… isn’t timing something? :) These words in Matthew are in the context of Jesus speaking of John the Baptist, and we just celebrated his nativity this Friday. More than that, Jesus was speaking of a generation who did not repent at the words of the prophets.

    I think our current state of not being able to hear is directly connected to our lack of critical thinking. We do not question things because we do not want to entertain the possibility that our views might be wrong. For as much as we pride ourselves on thinking that we are a society based on reason, with science as our king — we really are not. We have tossed out reason and clung to whim and emotion. And there is no stability in that. “Disposable” is what best defines our culture at the moment. Is your spouse irritating you? Get rid of him/her and get another. Better yet, don’t marry and just “hook up” as you will. Don’t want to be pregnant? You can take care of that. Is your car more than 3 years old? Get another. If anything is not working right or working out…it can be replaced. Are you not getting what you want from your religion? Try a different one! With disposability comes relativity. One thing is as good as another and there are no objective standards for comparison, so long as it “works for you.”

    How is it working out for us, anyway? Horribly, actually. But the problem is we have ceased to be able to see this since we have already tossed out critical thinking. The only way we respond now is if it hurts. And even then, as a people, we only respond to our own hurts, and rarely apply the lessons learned by others to our own lives.

    We are caught, then, in a world of our own daydreams. Think not? This past weekend, I was suggesting a book on natural law for someone to read. I know he is not religious, but this author was writing for people who do not believe in God and was extremely logical and rational in his thoughts and arguments. Surely, someone who idolized “reason and science” would like a book like this, right? Wrong. He took one look at it, maybe read a sentence, and tossed it back on the table declaring, “Well that’s just fantasy. I mean, it’s just one man’s opinion.”

    So, what to do? Jonah and Paul give us the answers to this:

    So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call upon your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we do not perish.” (Jon 1:6)

    Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” (Eph 5:14)

  15. Excellent reflection, Dr. Williamson. I also enjoyed the comments. Your follow up article adds even more perspective: http://tinyurl.com/66aam74

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