The prophet is in high regard when someone requires keen vision, hearing, and unraveling riddles then quickly forgotten until the loss of a donkey, or when the results or outcome of a battle is needed. The prophet wrestles at night and walks with a limp during the day. The Prophet dies in his disease, although he raised the dead during his life.
“Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he was to die” (II Kings 13:14).
His disease is from years of battling, boxing, and fleeing afterward. PTSD is a standard way of life, but even his bones hold the power of resurrection.
“And as a man was being buried, behold, a marauding band was seen, and the man was thrown into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. (II Kings 13:21).
Even in the bowels of Sheol, witches try to disturb the prophet from rest.
“And the woman said to Shaul: “I have seen gods coming up from the Earth!” And he said to her, “What is his appearance?” She said to him: “An old man came up, and he was clothed with a cloak.” And Shaul knew that it was Samuel, and he fell on his face on the ground, and he worshiped. And Shemueil said to Shaul: “Why have you disturbed me to bring me up?” (I Samuel 28:13-15).
The prophet is endowed with wisdom from on high and yet unable to express it adequately. He is often left stuttering and unable to articulate what he hears, sees, or reads. When the prophet must release the fire shut up in his bones, even he is terrorized by the words uttered from his own stale breath. Once he realizes the words he has spoken and the force and harshness of them, he again retreats to his cave, knowing he too is a man of flesh and not holy enough to speak such oracles.
“I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
“Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth” (Jeremiah 1:6).
Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’” “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will” (Exodus 4:1, 13).
The prophet warns year after year. Amid mocking and scorn, he rises in rough garments, knowing he can do nothing but what he was fashioned to do, and even if he tries to hide, he cannot for long. The sea will spit him up, or the very ones who wished to murder him will arise and beg for bread.
The prophet is alone in a room full of people, but never alone. Even if he mingles about, no one speaks his language, and he is often daydreaming. He has few things in common with most, yet he does try and appear normal. Although he may be laughing and full of mirth on occasion, his soul is usually screaming about an injustice.
The prophet has few friends, and if they do find a confidant, they too are marked and just as disfigured, and even in these friendships, there is a cost. Other friendships are strange bedfellows. People coming to inquire of things too lofty to dissect, then leaving for weeks or months until they need to seek him out again for counsel, dreams, or visions he may not have the correct answers for. A prophet May applaud you or embrace you. They may even love you from a distance but never with certainty. Knowing that some will betray them. They see both the holiness in others and the sin, but they see it in themselves first and they grieve over it. When the prophet detects and hears the specific name for the condition of some wounded soul, he is shown his past condition and punched in the gut at his past reflection. The prophet is a liar, a thief, a trickster, a botanist– an herbal specialist. He blurts out correct answers to fields and means so high above his pay grade or knowledge he knows it is not of him. He articulates and announces wisdom about matters he has no degree in. He often confounds the wise one minute and looks like a blabbering fool the next.
The prophet dies continually. He dies to relationships, love, material possessions, honor, respect, or accolades. He dies of being picked first for the team. He dies to assignments and circumstances that leave him looking like he is cursed by Adonai or, worse, a person who breaks Torah. His wife is barren or struck dead, or he’s told to marry a harlot, walk naked, lay on his side and take the sins of Israel and Judah, cook his food over human dung or that of a cow. He is told to prophesy destruction in 40 days, knowing his words will fall to the ground for a season, and he will appear once again as false. He sits with lepers and women who have colorful past, drunkards, or tax collectors. He lives by brooks for years and allows unclean birds to feed him until the Holy One says it’s time for his next assignment. He tells parables to kings who take the head off, giants, without fear. Parables about their sins and proclaim, “You are the Man” when they vow to kill the main character of the parable.
The prophet is seen as a worm, a maggot, spit, the lowliest of all men, yet they are honored in death.
A prophet lives in solitude and occasionally exits from his cave, brook, or desert place and only long enough to do the assignment given by the Holy One or to attend schools of higher prophetic learning to work on hearing and obeying quicker. After each assignment, or dust settling, the prophet retreats back to a place of solitude. It is here that he is most content. At other times the prophet is a nomad. Transported on mountains, wandering in deserts, escaping death by an inch of his life.
The prophet is bitten by snakes, surrounded by lions, kissed on the cheek, swallowed by fish, chased by an army of 1,000’s and often charged with crimes his adversary committed. And even while sinking in cisterns of muck without bread or water, the prophet knows there is no one who can offer comfort or prayer. Even when the prophet requests prayer, he knows he may lose his head, be sawn in half, boiled in a pot, or shipped off to an island to finish the assignment left him.
To be a prophet means skin thick and calloused. The seasoned prophet has no fear of man, kings, or judges. He speaks all the words commanded for him to say, for if he doesn’t, he is warned, “Do not be intimidated by them, or I will terrify you before them.” Jeremiah 1:17.
After testing this, he never forgets the terror, and although he at times would like to be normal, even in trying to do secular occupations, the prophet is far away, and there is no desire in the task no matter the pay. Even with all his callousness, the prophet weeps over the widows, the orphans, and the poor. The prophet would give all his possessions to help the lowly but usually has none to give. The prophet cannot stand injustice or wrongdoing, nor can they tolerate falseness. Their message is repeated over and over again. It is the same message of Elijah, John, and Yeshua–a boisterous repent. Choose this day whom you will serve. Make straight your paths, and while the prophet is screaming this from his insides to everyone around him, he is a madman—a rough-mannered, sharp-edged, hairy garment sort of man. At other times, he is feeding widows, comforting broken women at wells, delivering demonized men from torment or tending sheep alone for so long, he wonders if he has failed in such a manner that the Holy One has left him.
Occasionally he is haunted by those who proclaim to wear rough garments, but he knows they speak peace when there is no peace. He knows they prophesy out of their own hearts, and due to their falseness, they will inherit leprosy.
A few passages below speak more of the life of a prophet. I hope you are enjoying this Journey of a Prophet. If this has ministered to you and you know some lonely prophets in need of understanding their role better in the body of Messiah, please feel free to share.
Ps. The woman in the fire stacking up wood appeared in an old photo I took of a fire in my fire pit. The Father said “ look closer.” She was holding an anvil or sword. How does He speak to you, dear prophet?
“Yeshua began speaking to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind. But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing. Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet?”
Part III HERE