Wasn’t there an old mother-in-law joke, where the punch line is: “Take my mother-in-law, no, seriously, take her, please!”??
Well, it is no joke in the Bible in the book of James chapter five. We are told to be patient, do not complain, and as an example of how to cope with suffering and patience, TAKE THE PROPHETS who spoke in the name of the Lord.
I just love that phrase, “take the prophets”. It doesn’t say, “consider” nor does it say, worship. But, in order to TAKE the prophets, we are responsible for knowing who they are, and their story. In other words, we are responsible for the Old Testament, too. And since JESUS called John the Baptist a prophet, he is one, too!
How many prophets do you know? How many will you be able to ask intelligent questions in heaven?? When you do a search on the word, prophet, in Quickverse, the prophetess Miriam is first on the list. Hers is not a sterling example. There was that leprosy thing at the end. But, she was healed.
What did the job profile of prophet look like? It was a calling. And sometimes they were called forward for one speech, one sermon, one warning. They lived their whole lives doing what they were suppose to do, and maybe one or two big events are highlighted in the Old Testament. And the hearers, the ones they are sent to warn are not always happy to receive the news that they have messed up. Theirs was often a downer message. But, delivered with courage, with stories, with sermons, and even a miracle, they bravely girded their loins and got the job done. And then faded away. We don’t often hear the end of their story, but Jesus does say that many were murdered.
Was Miriam the first? Who else is sandwiched between her and John the Baptist??
Take the prophets. Take two prophets and call me in the morning.
The word, PROPHET, occurs 486 times in 451 verses according to a Quickverse search. The book of Jeremiah has the most instances of the word.
Gen. 20:7 …restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live…
Exodus 7:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharoah and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.
Exodus 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing.
Numbers 12:6 Moses: more than a prophet
Deut 18:15,18,20,22 God promises to raise up a prophet like Moses: “…I will put My words in His mouth…”
And the command to put to death any prophet who speaks presumptuously in God’s Name.
Judges 4:4 Deborah, prophetess and judge
Judges 6:8 an unnamed prophet? (right before the Lord appeared to Gideon and called him, “O valiant warrior.”
I Samuel 3:20 Samuel confirmed as prophet of the Lord. The Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh. (v.21)
I Samuel 22:5 the prophet Gad warns David (2 Sam. 24:11)
2 Samuel 7:2 Nathan the prophet (12:25, I K 1:8, 10, 22, 23-)
Shemaiah the prophet (2 Chr 12:15)
Ahijah the prophet (I K 14)
Jehu the prophet (I K 16)
Elijah (I K 18)
Elisha (I K 19)
Huldah the prophetess (2 K 22:14)
Oded (2 Chr 28:9) a prophet of the Lord meets an army
John (the Baptist)
Anna (Luke 2:36)
I Cor. 12:28, 29 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, …
Acts 21:9,10 prophetesses, and a prophet warns Paul
I Tim 4:14
Beware false prophets