Monday, December 2, 2013

The Preacher as Prophet

We note that Israel's guilt is never described as a matter of their own imagination; they all too often saw nothing wrong with their behavior.  Instead, part of Hosea's prophetic responsibility was to teach the people that they were genuinely guilty.  His preaching was intended to raise their awareness of their guilt, which was real, and dangerous to them - not from the standpoint of their emotional health, but from the standpoint of the wrath of God.  His message to them was not to "let it out" but to cut it out: " As for you, Israel, do not incur guilt from Yahweh!" (Hosea 4:15)  Douglas Stuart, Word Biblical Themes, p. 36-37.

Teachers and preachers have a prophetic role to fulfill today.  We bring forth both the word of God and the presence of God.  We expound the glories of God, expose sin, and call God's people back to him and to covenantal faithfulness.  One recurring theme I see in ministry is how blind we are to our own sin or we do not think there is anything wrong with our sin - either through ignorance or self justification.  Unfortunately I see more of the latter than the former.   

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