At The End…
I Kings 3:15-4:1, & 7:40-50
How civilized are you? Can you be used to speak a word that can save the world? Are you willing to forget about your own misfortunes and remember the weight of the global assignment? Are willing to shelter and cover the very ones who endangered your life without avenging yourself? Have you become “civilized” or are you still working with raw talent? A civilized man knows when and whom to forgive, and that makes all the difference in God’s prophet/profit.
At the end there was a civilized prophet/profit
God requires a civilized prophet who can multiply his word in the world. A civilized prophet is a talented prophet, and a talented prophet is a profitable prophet. A profitable prophet is one who can take a word from God and use it resoucefully, in order to accomplish God’s good purpose: salvation. And salvation isn’t only about your eternal soul (of course that is the most important aspect) but it is also about your generation’s vision, stability, order, plan, sustenance, purpose, and seed.
It is about ensuring that in your lifetime, you produced something worthy to leave behind for the salvation plan of the next generation. If you can’t see past yourself, though you hear from the Lord, you aren’t ready to be a prophet/profit. You are still toying with the gift of prophecy. A prophet/profit doesn’t dream dreams only, he sees visions, and he interprets them the way that God intended them to be interpreted.
But that’s not all. A prophet/profit does even more than that. A prophet/profit produces provision for the remnant of God’s people. He uses the information that he has been given to plan. A civilized prophet/profit, is a prophet/profit suited to save the world through strategic planning.
And he dwelt in the bitter-sweet building of the prophet/profit
Now the mystics can rest. God did not employ his good word for the people of God to be skeptical of those whom he calls “prophet”! God’s prophets should not be so far-fetched that everything they say is gibberish, no one understands them, and no one regards their words as worthy of keeping or reflecting upon. God’s prophets are not fools. They may do foolish things, but they are not fools.
The prophet may be controversial. He may rouse the anger of the crowd. He may go against common policy and provoke the people to think differently than they have been thinking. He may dress in camel’s hair and allow his dreadlocks to hang past his shoulders, but his words must reflect a certain kind of wisdom that does not come from man. His words must be cultured. They must be civilized. You must be able to tell, simply by listening to him, that his tone is coming from somewhere else; and that is what makes you uncertain of what to do with him, even if you disagree.
John the Baptist was the only son of a high priest. For some reason this tickles me. John wasn’t just “someone” crying from the wilderness. He was a displaced high priest! The high priest who left his post and set up shop in the wilderness. Sound familiar? It should! Jesus did the same thing! God’s prophets confound us with their appearance, their lifestyle, their mannerisms, when all along, if we listened closely, they make the most sense!
And he sent the answer
It was foolish for Joseph to provoke his brothers to jealousy. It was foolish for him to tell his father that he would be worthy of bowing down to. Enamored by the dreams that God gave him, Joseph played with his raw talent. He was experiencing the gift of prophecy. But playing with the gift of prophecy will cause you to be ushered into a more serious lesson. Prophecy is not a toy.
The best way to teach Joseph not to play with fire was to send him to a place that played with fire perpetually– Egypt. Egypt was known for magic. Joseph had realized that being able to tap into the supernatural isn’t quite the same thing as having relationship with the supernatural God. Egyptians perfected prophecy. What Joseph learned before was nothing in comparison to what these magicians could do. Yes, he had the raw talent of prophecy, but what he did with it was what would matter in the future.
It is only in the land of the forgotten that a true prophet will become profitable to God. It is in that dark cold place that the prophet comes to terms with maturity. A prophet is only valuable when God has something to say. That is his only value. And so, he must wait to hear the tone, the time, the word of God. That is his job. That is what makes him civilized. The prophet waits when everyone else races. He waits because when he is released, everything he needed to know will have already been provided in the dark. Because in the dark, God taught Joseph the mature version of prophecy. While it is good to dream dreams, it is better to interpret visions.
When the civilized prophet steps into the light, he recognizes everything, but not everything or everyone recognizes him. The cloak of darkness is the distinct advantage of the seasoned prophet. No longer eager to tell everything, he listens carefully to what must be told, and when is the right time to tell it.
And Came Near…