Friday, January 09, 2009

This week's lesson: prophecy as conversation

Prophets do more than just talk.

Sometimes, they talk back.

Look at the prophets discussed in this week's lesson -- prophets such as Abraham and Moses. Both challenged God's plans; both succeeded in changing God's plans.

And these were not exceptions that prove the rule. The Bible is full of prophets who kvetch:
  • Habakkuk complained about God's slowness to act.
  • Ezekiel complained the ridicule he got.
  • And Jeremiah got so fed up with being a prophet that he tried to quit!
In short, prophets do more than just take notes and pass them along. Instead, they are part of a conversation -- a conversation in which both sides are free to argue, question, and challenge the other.

It's not enough to know that God speaks, in other words.

No, the prophets teach us that God also listens.

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