We had class this weekend and in Old Testament, we’re studying the prophets. This month, we specifically looked at Hosea and Isaiah. I was struck by how personally these men were called to suffer for the sake of their people. Hosea was called by God to marry a prostitute and name his children of questionable patrimony things like “Not Pitied” and “Not My People”. Isaiah’s children had better names (except for poor Maher-shalal-hash-baz), but they were used by God to make a serious point to the kings of Judah.
At first glance, it is tempting to dismiss the seemingly harsh treatment of these prophets as the whim of that crazy “God of the Old Testament”. But if we believe in only One God, then we need to look at what he is doing here.
I think it reminds us of that fact that God doesn’t divide up our lives into categories like we do. It’s tempting, as one who works for the Church, to see certain aspects of living out my faith as “work things”. But for Hosea, when he came home at night from prophesying in the streets, he came home to Gomer, Not Pitied and Not My People. Not to mention the sneers of his friends and neighbors. His life did not INCLUDE prophesying for God. His life WAS the prophesy.
Which brings me to a profound point my professor made: the prophets were a preparation for when God would come and BE the message. Jesus didn’t come to hang around and teach us some stuff about how to be nicer to each other. He came to take on our sins, suffer them profoundly and die for us. For God, salvation is very, very personal.
So, do I see myself as a prophet? Isn’t that kind of arrogant? Not for a baptized Christian. We are all called to share in Jesus’ offices of Prophet, Priest and King. Which means that we are called to live the message God gives us to proclaim- not primarily by shouting on the street corners (though sometimes a form of this is asked of us), but by accepting and living well the life he has given us.
Copyright 2009 Libby DuPont