Biblical prophets receive a bad rap. We often perceive them as simply condemning Israel for the wrongs. While this was sometimes the case, Biblical prophets did much more.
We tend to understand Biblical prophets as predicting the future, sometimes thousands of year after their lifetime. The truth is Biblical prophets addressed problems related to their time and place. Throughout history we can see correlations to what was happening in and to Israel. However, as human beings we tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. We see the connection to Biblical prophets because we see ourselves in the actions of Israel.
Did Biblical prophets predict the future? Yes and no. They gave messages of hope to God’s people that would take place in the future.
The role of Biblical prophets may be best understood as a pastoral role. The job of the pastor is to shepherd the people back to God. Prophets where pastoral shepherds attempting herd the flock.
Also in the pastor role, Biblical prophets where charged to offer words of comfort to God’s people. It is the job of the pastor to speak words to lift up the people at appropriate times. Likewise, this was also a duty of the prophets. Consider Isaiah 40:1 for example; “Comfort, O Comfort my people, speak tenderly to Jerusalem”. This is a message of comfort and hope.
In conclusion, the role of Biblical prophets was that of Pastor, to lead the sheep back to God and speak words of comfort. I’m not just saying this because I am a pastor. Biblical prophets were indeed the predecessors of modern pastors.
Read the prophets listed above and note the similarities between them and your pastor. Preaching. Yep! Prophets preached especially about loving your neighbor and caring for the poor.
Attending church meetings. Yep! Pastor’s attend many meetings with the communityy of faith. So to did the prophets. They met with the community of faith frequently regarding God’s will. This is the role of pastor’s in church meetings, help the congregation discern God’s will for this community.
Caring for the sick, the lost and the poor. This is a job for all Christians, but pastor’s model it for the church. Biblical prophets continually called the community to care for the sick, the lost and the poor. They were often ignored. Some times pastor’s feel the same way.
The role of Biblical prophets was that of Pastor.