The Rev. Dan Puckett: Where are the prophets of God?Published 10:23am Friday, September 11, 2009
In the Old Testament book of Amos, chapter 3, verse 7, we read, “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.”
The Word of God, the Bible, tells us of God and His ways. We know that God has moved in judgment in times past when His people drifted from His principles and precepts. There was always a prophet, a man of God, who spoke out in warning before God moved.
When Sodom and Gomorrah were steeped in unspeakable moral depravity and wickedness, God had determined to destroy the cities. Even as the planned judgment was imminent, God said, in Genesis, chapter 18, verse 17, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” God told Abraham about His plans for Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham immediately began to plead for mercy for his nephew, Lot, who lived in Sodom. God told Abraham, and Abraham became the prophet who spoke out and sought to intervene.
In the days of Amos, the issues were a lack of true worship and a lack of justice. Sound familiar? It was not that those people were not worshipping; they were, but it was more focused on themselves than on God. God declared, in Amos, chapter 5, verses 18-27, that all the efforts in worship were vain and worthless.
This was not new. The prophet Samuel told King Saul, in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD?”
God prefers obedience to His commands over the most artful worship imaginable. It is not new today either.
We skip over discrepancies in our lives that demand repentance and seek to impress God with big crowds and big shows.
Not only was there a lack of true worship, but there was a lack of justice. God has never been about the greatest good for the greatest number. He has been about our doing right in all things (including the smallest things) and then our trusting Him for the overall outcome. Anytime we attempt to socially engineer solutions for the world’s problems and we don’t do it God’s way, we only deepen the problem and further complicate the chaos.
God can make something out of nothing. We cannot. We must cooperate with God in looking out for the poor, the orphans, the disenfranchised, and others who seem to have nothing to contribute.
When we do it God’s way, God steps in and blesses what we are doing. Suddenly it works; unexplainable things begin to happen, and everybody is lifted above their circumstances.
Where are the prophets? Who is speaking for God? There was always somebody saying, “Peace and safety,” in the Old Testament times when God was moving in judgment. The prophet of God cries out, “Repent and turn to God.”
We must seek God. We can be confident that as God spoke out in the time of Amos, He is speaking today. We must discern His voice amidst all the clamor and obey Him lest judgment overtake us.
The Rev. Dan Puckett is a minister with Life Action Ministries.