To those who have wondered if they are a prophet, and to those who know with certainty, I have penned this message. To those who have no rough garments, this message may not be one for you, but it may be for your spouse, sibling, child, or friend. Parts of it may appear prideful, strange, or mentally unstable. But, to the prophets who are sons or daughters of prophets, or to the prophets who belt out in Amos fashion, “I was not a prophet, “nor was I the son of a prophet,” I pray it, ministers, to you as well.
A prophet is met with death in the womb or shortly after. It may be a breach, uterine rupture, or strangulation by cord. Either way, some form of difficulty usually occurs before birth or afterward. The prophet is at times unloved in the womb, rejected before even exiting the ramp. Once the prophet meets his assigned family, he never feels truly a part of it, although he does love them deeply, he is a misfit. The prophet, at any time, may abruptly be told to leave his family, homeland, or flee for his life. He is mostly without a mother or father, and even if found to be a goodly child by his mother, he is then hunted by an outside power, whether Pharaoh or Herod or some other demonic force.
“Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” (Matthew 2:13).
“If it is a son, then ye shall kill him” (Exodus 1:22).
Or, like Samuel, the prophet is given to the Father at an early age.
If the prophet’s father or mother favors him, then his siblings or in-laws are given the task of hating him for his dreams, mantle, or assignment. This starts at a relatively young age. Remember how mocking Ishmael was? He had to be sent away (Gen. 21:10)? Remember Abel’s blood that cries out? (Luke 11:50-51). Remember Laban and his sons? (Genesis 31:2-3). And who could forget Joseph and David’s journey?
“Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams” (Genesis 37:19-20).
Symbolically, the prophet’s first mantle must be torn, coated in blood, and used to pronounce that he no longer lives, although he does. The prophet lives whether fleeing for his life or placed in an ark by the Nile, a pit, a prison, a cave, the backside of the desert–he lives.
Like Joseph, his second mantle is torn from him by the harlot. He must have the ability to flee from the harlot that seduces the flesh and causes the immature prophets to prophesy smooth words, itching ear words, and from their own hearts. The third is a garment worn by prisoners, for the prophet must be anointed to set people free. The prophet will shed his coats until they are given the final anointing. Like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, he is ready. The prophet then knows that it is time to do what he has been called to do.
At this point, the prophet is very seasoned. He knows how to survive the rejection and murderous spirit sent from an enemy, family members, friends, or those in positions of power or leadership. This crushing is for his well needed and causes him to run to His heavenly Father for comfort, approval, love, and acceptance. The prophet is thrust into the desert again and again, which causes him to listen more eagerly. To bend his ear towards the heavens and say, “here I am.” The prophet makes spaces and time for silence. He is often trying to drown out the world and hide from the people because it is in that space and time that he is fed bread and water. The prophet does not wear priestly garments.
False accusations and prison sentences are testing he endures in shackles–shackled to the Holy One who sees all. The prophet learns to praise and exalt His King amid hell. The prophet knows what is in man because he must look in the mirror a long time before he can bring his message from above. The prophet does not follow man–nor presidents, priests, or kings. He only follows the sound of his Father’s voice, and he only does what his Father tells him to do–except when he falters, and this is short lived because the weight and sorrow of letting the Holy one down is more than a child can bear.
“But Yeshua did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all men, And he did not need a man to testify to him about anyone, for he himself knew what was in a man.” (John 2:24-25).
The prophet is sold into slavery to store up bread or sent to free enslaved people, but not before enduring significant testing. Depending on his assignment, the prophet may be tested 40 years or longer depending on his stubbornness and trauma from the past. His life is a sacrifice. The prophet is often wrongfully accused– met with stoning and slander and at times by the members of his own household. And yet. . .
The prophet is a murderer.
Disclaimer: I do not condone murder or violence.
- “Moses looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (Exodus 2:12).
- “David grabbed the Philistine’s sword and pulled it from its sheath and killed him, and he cut off his head with the sword” (1 Samuel 17:51).
- “David said, “Put Uriah at the front of the fiercest battle; then withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and killed” (II Samuel 11:15).
- “And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there” (I Kings 18:40).
- Then he turned around, looked at them, and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Suddenly two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the young men. And Elisha went on to Mount Carmel, and from there, he returned to Samaria” (II Kings 2:24-25).
- “But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the LORD at Gilgal” (I Samuel 15:33).
- “Then Jehu will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu” (I Kings 19:17).
- When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly” (Numbers 25:7-8).
- “Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men. At this, the king sent to Elijah, another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of God, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!'” “If I am a man of God,” Elijah replied, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. (II Kings 1:10-13).
- “When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men. And Samson said, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey have I struck down a thousand men.” Judges 15:14-16).
The prophet is heavy with the burden of Adonai and the burden of the people, and yet, he loves both more than his own life. The prophet never feels understood. A misfit from birth, he walks with a bull’s eyes or a target on his back. A true visionary, when called, does not wear a soft garment. He is not shaken easily, nor does he print business cards to announce his calling. He needs no live television network. No, word of the day, no prediction concerning the white house. He lives in widow’s houses, caves, the silence of the wilderness. He eats honey out of a lion carcass and locusts. The prophet eats the very things that destroy. Unclean birds and eagles feed him. The prophet can be found under a palm tree, on a hillside, in the house of a Shunammite, a fishing boat, a graveyard, or around a campfire. The prophet is not a jack in the box. Turn the handle and wait for him to pop up and tell you the future. The prophet speaks in parables. His messages at times require meditation and unraveling, but he is unaware that he speaks in mysteries.
The prophet’s expressions and mannerisms are convoluted, and he is often misdiagnosed. A deranged suicidal creature one minute and a person speaking fragrant oracles the next. At times, he appears to be in another world. Captured by insects, birds, or seeing a hidden stallion galloping inside a fire pit or an angelic creature hidden in the print of floral wallpapering. The prophet is forever seeing riddles he must unravel. Or he hears from above, words that only he would understand. To tell the world he must build a city out of pans and lay on his side for hundreds of days would only get him a diagnosis of crazy. Jeremiah saw the bud of an almond tree and it had a meaning no tree surgeon could understand. The prophet knows things he does not want to know. He sees perplexing images: a burning bush, an angelic army with swords, or winged creatures with many eyes. He often is perplexing over passages of scripture or dreams and visions that play out in front of him. An ongoing conversation is always present between the prophet and his Maker. These conversations linger in silence, even amongst friends and family.
Yes, the prophet and his journey are unique. He is not holier, or better than anyone else in the body, but he is different. In Part II we will continue this journey. Please let me know if this is speaking to you or if you are wondering after reading, if you too may be a prophet.