Do you know what prophets eat in the night? It’s a strange thing to ponder, and I doubt if you have ever heard the question asked. There’s a fair chance that you know the answer.
I recently found my attention drawn to Micah’s prophet-poet message as he stands in his role as a watchman looking out over Israel. Calamity was approaching and was already indeed, resting on God’s people.
The sound track of your life!
I have always wondered what life would be like if one lived it as if it were a film. Imagine the sound track of your life! As Micah stood on tiptoe, reaching out to God in prayer for Israel you can almost hear the sound of Sam Smith’s “Writing on the wall” playing gently in the background.
It’s one thing to seek God for yourself, asking for favour, wisdom, counsel and protection. Here, Micah stands with a different agenda – looking out to see as he waits on God, what God will reveal to him so that he can bring encouragement, direction and a sense of hope to Israel. (Micah 7:7)
I’ve wondered about this for a while. There is a difference between going to God in prayer seeking God’s intervention on behalf of another and just asking God for words for people.
I don’t think that is what Micah was doing, but he wasn’t not doing it either! What are you looking for as you approach God? His face or his hand?
The face of God
Looking at this I have a feeling that our posture of only looking for the face of God (and if He chooses to reveal His hand that will be wonderful) is one that perhaps needs reconsidering. If we are seeking God that He will give revelation and words of comfort, encouragement and edification to us for others, it still comes out of a place of intimacy, relationship and prayer. We have to draw near to God in intimacy, and indeed Jer 33:3 seems to warmly affirm this.
This may not be an issue that has troubled you personally, but in our day when people assume that going to a seminar on prophecy, and then being ‘activated’ by ministry from a conference speaker makes them into overnight prophets, raises questions about what is going on. The same ‘prophets’ then spend time seeking words for people, rather than learning what it means to belong to the local church, spreading roots and growing in grace and maturity in God. Such a relational life does not happen over night.
Back to Micah… as a watchman one thing for certain about him was that he knew how to pray. Remember John the Baptist’ disciples? He was a prophet in the desert calling men to repentance, pointing the nation to Jesus. As his disciples gathered around him there is a testimony that is often overlooked. Jesus disciples came to Jesus and asked Him to teach them to pray, as John taught his disciples. John taught his disciples how to pray. No brow-beating philosophical issue of ‘we don’t ever know how to pray’. They knew what it was, and when Jesus taught them how to pray, it was simple enough to grasp and profound enough to ponder for a lifetime.
Micah the watchman-prophet stood in the night-time, watching over the nation of Israel, looking for God. And God answered him. Maybe as you stand in the early hours of the new day, waiting on God you will get hungry and decide on a little snack before going to sleep.
Then you will know the answer as to what prophets eat in the night. Maybe it is time for you to find out…