Here and Now: Prophetic Particularity

We near the end of our brief exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures by pointing to the prophets as longstanding examples of those who saw and proclaimed the here-and-now life.  Beginning with Moses in Exodus 3, and running through the biblical revelation to Malachi, the prophets were God’s means of showing that the life of God in the human soul occurs in the present moment. [1]

They did this in three primary ways.  First, by naming the imperialism (fallen-world reality) that existed in their respective places and times, in both the political and religious domains–and the ensuing collusions of the two.  Second, by calling the people to remember the will and ways of God, revealed especially and particularly in the Covenant.  And third, to repent (look at life in God’s way, not the way of empire) so the people could move into the future restored and hopeful.

The prophets show that God’s “I AM” presence is for the purpose of transformation.  Genesis 3 (original sin) is not the defining reality or the final word.  God is at work here and now to renew, restore, and reform.  Running through every prophet is the message, “You do not have live below par; God is willing and able to give you new life, individually and collectively.”  It is summarized in the word ‘shalom’–wellness and wholeness in every area of life.

Tbrough the prophets we are reminded that God is at work moment-by-moment to lead us from darkness into light, from death into life.

[1] The 2017 Oboedire theme was “The Prophetic Task”–a series that used the writings of Walter Brueggemann to explore the prophetic tradition in Scripture and selected means and ministries for living it in the church and world today.  If you did not follow Oboedire back then, it is archived on the righthand “Categories” sidebar on the Oboedire home page.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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