Tag Archives: Prophet

holy road

Sunday Message: the Holy Road

Isaiah 35:8-10 MSG

There will be a highway called the Holy Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It’s for God’s people exclusively— impossible to get lost on this road. Not even fools can get lost on it. No lions on this road, no dangerous wild animals— Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening. Only the redeemed will walk on it. The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads, Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.

Sunday Message

I open my Bible this Sunday to study the written word of God. Here is the Sunday message the Holy Spirit leads me to: “As all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.”

These words are so comforting to me right now. I have been walking, or limping, a roller coaster of emotions after severely spraining my ankle a few weeks ago. Yesterday I was walking to the bus stop on my crutches, and rude people were driving close to me with their cars, forcing me to go in the grass. There was no sidewalk, but the grass is so painful on crutches, not a smooth path.

The Holy Road

God promises me a smooth path, the holy road, where I will someday find rest. No evil or rude people will be allowed on that road. All my pain and tears will disappear. I will never have to use crutches on the holy road.

The holy road of the redeemed is described in Isaiah 35. If we look back at Isaiah 34, we find strong imagery. God is angry at the world as countries take up arms and fight never ending wars. The prophet describes the stars falling out of the skies, armies of stars reduced to nothing.

Stars Falling Out Of Heaven

The imagery of stars falling out of heaven is intense, but what if Isaiah is also describing earthly stars, people who thirst for power, the “important” ones on earth? Earthly stars, the greedy and the powerful, the rich who have received their reward on earth, have no place on the holy road.

Look at Isaiah 34:12

Leaders will have no one to lead.
They’ll name it No Kingdom There
A country where all kings
and princes are unemployed.

The stars will fall, the leaders will have no one to oppress. Their kingdoms will become dark places of hyenas and desolation, their thrones overgrown by weeds and the unquenchable fires of Yahweh. Their spells of cruelty invite the evil demons to dance and take over the night land.

Isaiah 34:15

Thistles will take over, covering the castles,
fortresses conquered by weeds and thornbushes.
Wild dogs will prowl the ruins,
ostriches have the run of the place.
Wildcats and hyenas will hunt together,
demons and devils dance through the night.

Terror.

Cleansing and Healing

The stars fall in terror at night, but then comes morning, the next chapter, Isaiah 35. The cleansing and healing. Sorrows and sighs scurry away into the night. The earthly stars are cast down, and the poor and the oppressed are lifted up. Those who sorrow under the cruelty inflicted by uncompassionate people will be comforted. Those who sigh under the slavery of society will be bought and redeemed by God. Those who seek righteousness and compassion rather than personal gain will find the holy road. They will find healing and be set free.

Glory.

Make a choice today. Seek the kingdom of righteousness and God’s holy road. Pray for the poor and the oppressed, and pray for holy justice on earth.

Image is courtesy of JHPhotography
the life of a prophet, person holding globe

The Life of a Prophet

The Life of a Prophet is Hard

The life of a prophet is a hard life. You will speak the truth, but the world will hate you for it. You will be spit on, cursed at, trampled under foot. Still, you hold the world in your hands and your prayers. Your compassion is great because you move under the heart of God. You will constantly pray for your nation and the world. You will live a life of prayer.

You will be poor and homeless as your home and wealth are in heaven, not on this earth. You are truly a stranger on this planet.

You will have many friends and many more enemies, but few true confidantes. You will proclaim judgment over a nation in sin, but blessing over the least of these, the people you meet who are poor in spirit. You will cry many tears, just as the prophet Jeremiah. You will learn to find your joy in God alone.  Your worldly vision will dim as your heavenly vision sharpens.

As a prophet, all of your worldly possessions will fit in one bag. God will tell you to leave a place at a moment’s notice. You will travel from city to city. If a city rejects your message, you will leave and kick the dust off your feet, just as Jesus told his disciples.

The Life of a Prophet is a Spectacle

The life of a prophet is a spectacle to the world. God commanded Ezekiel to lay on his side for 390 days. God told Hosea to marry a known prostitute. God gave Elijah a showdown with the prophets of Baal.

The  life of a prophet today is also a spectacle. You will have many showdowns with the prophets of Baal, the great god of money, and you must not allow yourself to be defiled by money. God will tell you to do crazy things. People will call you a fool. You must be brave. You must not look for human approval, but do all for the approval of Jesus, the love of the Father.

Like Ezekiel and like Jesus, you will carry the sins of the people upon yourself. You will cry and groan under the pain of the sin and the pain of being a spectacle, but you will persevere in love. You must warn the people of their sinful ways, lest their blood be upon your head.

Ezekiel 4
1 “Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.

4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself.[a] You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.

6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7 Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. 8 I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.

The Life of a Prophet is a Watchman

The life of a prophet is a watchman over the nation and the world.

Jeremiah 6
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I appointed watchmen over you and said,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But you said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations;
you who are witnesses,
observe what will happen to them.
19 Hear, you earth:
I am bringing disaster on this people,
the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not listened to my words
and have rejected my law.

The prophet is appointed by God to proclaim reward for a nation living in obedience to the ancient paths of holiness, and to proclaim the downfall of the nation who does not heed the call of the watchman for their sins. The people will hate your message. They will demand other prophets who proclaim peace, peace. Yet a true prophet will never proclaim peace when the nation is under judgement for its actions.

A Nation of False Prophets

The church is full of false prophets today. They are prophets defiled by money and fame. They do not live the life of a prophet, they live the life of a celebrity.

God does not call these people prophets. They call themselves prophets. They pander to the crowds by preaching peace and prosperity. They please Baal to fill their own pockets.

Watch out for these false prophets, these ear ticklers. They refuse to honor God and the name of Jesus. The true prophets are unliked and unwanted. They do not tickle the ears, but they have the hard word of God.

Listen to the watchmen of this generation! Repent, die to your own sin, take up your cross, and you will be saved.