Sometimes God sends a prophet before a deliverer (cf. Judges 6:7-10 and 11ff.). The main task of a prophet is to speak the truth to power, whereas the main task of a deliver is to act with God’s help to move the people in a different (more faithful) direction. Sometimes God calls the same person to act as prophet and deliverer, but when this is not the case the prophet is often hated. Why? Because they deliver a painful message to the people that discloses the gap between where they are and where God wants them to be, forcing them sit in the discomfort of the gap without quick solutions. No one likes to sit in the discomfort created by the tension between what is and what should be. By the time the prophetic truth sinks in and the deliver comes, many are ready to kill the prophet! It is more glorious to help people solve their problems than to show them their problems, but the role of prophet has always been essential in God’s great rescue mission of this world. I often wonder if one of the main problems in mainline Protestantism today is its lack of prophets (or our refusal to hear the message of the prophets). Take a few minutes during your devotional time to pray for God’s prophets today.
The Pain of a Prophet