A Prophet Among You


Relation of the Prophet to God

As an individual the prophet was fundamentally no different from any other devout follower of God. There was something that set him apart from the crowd, however, and that was his unusual relationship with God. No man who had ever had a vision of the throne of God, and had the privilege of conversing with the angels, or of hearing his name called by the divine voice to the prophetic office, could again be the same man. As a young man, Isaiah in vision saw “the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.” Isaiah 6:1. That gave him the clearest insight he had ever gained of his spiritual condition. Almost immediately conviction caused him to cry, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips: ... for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Verse 5. His desire for cleansing was granted, and he was told, “Thy sin [is] purged.” Then followed the Lord’s inquiry, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Isaiah’s response was instantaneous, “Here am I; send me.” Verse 8. How could his answer have been other than it was, after such a vision? The call did not settle all of the young prophet’s problems; it did not assure him of success in every enterprise. But from that time forward Isaiah could never forget that he was God’s man. APAY 55.2

A careful study of the written and spoken language of the prophets reveals a subtle blend of awe and intimacy in their attitude toward God. Isaiah’s vision of the might and glory of the Lord, such as had not been vouchsafed to others, inspired in him a reverence and veneration unknown to other men. Small wonder that the Scriptures are the most exalted literature known to man. Isaiah exclaims: “O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” Isaiah 25:1. But the love of God was revealed in a marked manner, as was His willingness to be questioned and reasoned with. Therefore, the prophet feels free to ask, “Where are thy zeal and thy might? The yearning of thy heart and thy compassion are withheld from Me.” Isaiah 63:15, R.S.V. Attention given to the books of Jeremiah and Habakkuk with these thoughts in mind will also be rewarding. APAY 56.1

How the hearts of these men of God must have swelled with holy joy as they realized that they had been selected from the millions of earth to receive the divine word and to be God’s personal representatives to circulate that word. How this partnership must have caused them to search their lives to remove anything that might be unworthy. How their attitude toward their fellow men must have changed as they began to look at them through God’s eyes and see for the first time what had been hidden from their view. APAY 56.2

The prophets came to be close friends with the Most High God. What did this relationship mean to the Lord? It meant that He had fellowship with men, which approached, as nearly as possible, the intimacy of the days in the Garden of Eden. It meant, too, that He had a personal representative to instruct men. There seems to have been a special tie between the Lord and His prophets. We can sense the warmth of the declaration, “But thou, Israel, art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend.” Isaiah 41:8. “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine own heart.” Acts 13:22. This expresses the Lord’s delight in the psalmist. The angel told Daniel the reason for the swift response to his plea for understanding of his vision. “I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved.” Daniel 9:23. Of Enoch it is said that he “walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24. Manifestly the Lord found pleasure in His association with those He chose for His special service. APAY 57.1