A Prophet Among You


Chapter 9—Guidance In Crisis

Man’s awareness of the presence of God is the heart of Christianity. The promise of Jesus Christ, “Lo, I am with you alway,” is a solemn but happy assurance of guidance and victory to His children. The church, too, is strengthened by the knowledge that the divine presence overshadows it for good. APAY 148.1

The deist believes in a personal God who created the universe and who will finally serve as Judge of all mankind. But to him God is afar off—transcendent—not revealed in personal Christian experience, in nature, or in history. To the pantheist, all the forces and laws of the existing universe combine to form God. Although He is everywhere present, He is as impersonal as gravitation or the rays of the sun. APAY 148.2

However, to the Bible Christian—to the Seventh-day Adventist—God is a personal Being, both transcendent and immanent. He is exalted above the world, and supreme Ruler of all; and at the same time He dwells in the world and in man as a personal friend and companion. Our concept is formed on the basis of such texts as these: APAY 148.3

“The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men.” Psalm 11:4. APAY 148.4

“And He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.” Daniel 2:21. APAY 148.5

“I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims.... And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3. APAY 148.6

“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21. APAY 149.1

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” Psalm 32:8. APAY 149.2

The Bible record indicates that there is never a moment when the world in general, and God’s people in a particular way, are out of range of the all-seeing eye of the Lord of heaven. Those who have accepted Him fully may know that they have come within the sphere of His protection and guidance, and that every word, act, and influence will be shaped by Him to help achieve good. This is true in the routine of life as well as in test, trial, and crisis. Through His word, by the impressions of the Holy Spirit, and by the workings of His providence, He guides to right decisions and right acts. This holds in the life of the individual and in the body of God’s people as a whole. APAY 149.3

On numerous occasions through the centuries the Lord saw that the type of guidance He gave day by day to individuals or through prophets to larger groups was not sufficient to meet the needs of a coming crisis. In preparation for such a crisis He gave special guidance through the prophets, with messages calculated to prepare the people for the critical event. It seems to be to this kind of circumstance that the prophet is referring when he says, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. Here Amos is recording the prediction of the coming punishment of Israel for her apostasy. Punishment was foretold for surrounding nations for some of their sins, but Israel’s chastisement was to be for all her iniquities. Verse 2. The nation must be made fully aware of what lay ahead, so the prophet outlined in detail the reasons for the coming punishment and something of its nature. APAY 149.4