July 12,2007; Series Conclusion (1 of 3)
Focus Text: Revelation 22.6-10
Today’s devotional begins a wrap-up of the series, Profiles of the Prophets. Our very first installment over 100 messages ago contained the following words:
John was directly interfacing with an angel and in that exchange [as described in the focus text, Revelation 22.6-10], John was so overwhelmed by the events that he fell down to worship at the feet of the angel. In short order and with no room for misunderstanding the angel corrected John because of his attempt to worship him. As he should have done, he told John, “Worship God!” Implicit in the angel’s instructions is the fact that only God is worthy of worship. Hence our first lesson concerning the prophets: We may reverence the prophets and their work; some of them may even stand head and shoulders above the crowd, but no mere prophet is worthy of our worship. But for one prophet about whom we will have much to say later, all of them were but men, men whose feet were made of clay and hence subject to temptations and to sin.
We have indeed seen that the feet of the prophets were made of clay. We saw the sins of great prophets like Moses, David, and Peter laid bare before our eyes; we saw discouragement sweep over some of the prophets as unbelief and hard hearts challenged their work and even their very existence. However, we saw God’s resolve to deliver His message to mankind through the prophets and sometimes in spite of the prophets. At times the prophets were reluctant to speak the word that Jehovah put in their mouths, but the Lord persisted. The problem with the prophets is a malady from which we all suffer from time to time. The “problem” with the prophets was that they had their own wills that had to be laid aside before God could use them. Jonah had to be “encouraged” in a unique way; Jeremiah found it impossible to cease his preaching even when a part of him said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” (Jeremiah 20.9). Herein lies one great lesson about the prophets and one which is of great import to us.
God used the prophets in spite of their shortcoming; he used imperfect vessels to deliver and complete a perfect work! We do not understand all the “mechanics” of how this was done, but it was! The blended voices of the prophets resound in perfect harmony and beauty tens of centuries after their individual voices were stilled by death, and this in spite of their individual weaknesses and shortcomings. It is not the solo prophet who is to be praised for the marvelous chorus that we hear through their writings, but rather the Composer of the refrain who deserves our worship and praise. God, the author of the Scriptures, was and is responsible for the finished product of the prophets, the product which has the ability to save our souls from sin and preserve us unto an eternal inheritance by His side.
The angel was right in the focus text when he told John, “Worship God!” Only one of the myriads of prophets was worthy of our worship. Worship God! Our LORD persisted through the ages to ensure that you and I have access to His will and the opportunity to obey the gospel!
1. Why did the angel tell John that he was not worthy of his worship?
2. If the angel could not be worshiped, what are the implications regarding the worship of any mere human being?
3. Did God use imperfect men to deliver His perfect word? If yes, how?
4. Why did God persist in delivering His word even when some of the prophets were reluctant to do so? What benefit do we derive from God’s persistence in this matter?
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