A Prophet Among You


Chapter 3—The Prophets And Their Function

It is difficult to imagine a more diverse group of personalities than the ancient prophets. Besides their individual differences, with their work spread over a period longer than from the breakup of the Roman Empire to the present, there was little in their times or environment to draw them to unity. Who could have differed more than one man who had been drawn out of a nation of idolaters, and another who had been reared from childhood in the precincts of God’s tabernacle? What more varied attitudes could have developed than those of a man trained for twenty-eight years to occupy the throne of the greatest nation of the day and those of a simple herdsman called to bear a message to a rebellious neighboring nation? There is no indication that God chose men of any particular kind of background, personality, talents, or education. He chose the man he could use best at the moment, or the one He could best prepare for future service. He apparently disregarded any set pattern, and gave attention only to the suitability of the man for the task. Some of the reasons for this procedure seem obvious, others are somewhat obscure. APAY 33.1

Paul reveals something of the problem that faced him in his attempt to reach as many persons as possible in his generation. “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, ... that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-22. A message to go to every nation, and tongue, and people must not be built in a restricted manner. Many minds, talents, personalities, environments, and lines of activity must lend their influence to make the message appealing to so wide a field. APAY 33.2