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.
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.
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.