The Prophets of God

The Prophets Of God

Prophets were "… men who spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2Pet. 1:21).  The function of a prophet can be seen as pictured in Ex. 7:1-2: "And the Lord said to Moses, 'See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land.' "

Moses   -->   Aaron   -->  the People

God       -->   prophet  -->  the people.

As the writer of Hebrews states: "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets…" (Heb. 1:1).

Such a spokesman for God was called 'a seer' (1Sam. 9:9), a “man of God” (2 Kings 4:9), a “servant of the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:17), and a “messenger of Jehovah” (Malachi 3:1).  They all signify the same thing: they were the messenger that delivered unto the people the message of God.

They sometimes wrote of past events (like creation) that they were not witnesses of nor had records of to learn from. Thus they wrote as God gave them understanding about such things (Moses, a prophet    , wrote Genesis). In much of their preaching and writing they relate various historical events.

They more often were addressing the needs of their generation. In this aspect they were inspired preachers. They warned and taught the people concerning the judgment of God that comes upon the disobedient and unfaithful.

They also predicted future events. Much of this was in line with the announcing of judgment to come for the unfaithfulness of their generation. They also spoke of the coming of the Messiah and the last days.

It is often noted that there were 'writing' prophets and 'non-writing' prophets. Elijah and Elisha are example of prophets who did not write things down. There are others that occur from time to time. There were also those like Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. who not only preached to the people of their day but they wrote things down so it would be on record.

We group the writing prophets into two main sections. The bigger books are the 'major prophets' (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel). The smaller books are referred to as the 'minor prophets'. The designation refers to their length and not to their importance or level of inspiration.

It is well to note that others like Moses and David are also identified as prophets. In Deut. 18:   Moses is identified as a prophet when God promised to raise up a prophet LIKE unto Moses.  In quoting David, Peter said: 'him being a prophet…' (Acts 2:30).

Peter speaks to the inspiration of these prophets saying that "men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2Pet. 1:21). Hence he counseled believers that they would "…do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart, knowing  this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation…" (2 Pet. 1:19-20). Hence their word was 'the word of the LORD' and not the mere words of men.