As [Theuderic] often visited Columban, the holy man began to reprove him because he sinned with concubines, and did not satisfy himself with the comfort of a lawful wife... After this reproof from Columban, the king promised to abstain from such sinful conduct.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Italian, 7th century
For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
- Matthew 14.3, 4
The prophet played many roles in the Scriptural economy. One of the most important was that of keeping the rulers and people on the straight and narrow (think: Nathan and David, Isaiah and Hezekiah).
It was not always a pleasant duty (ask Elijah); nor did the prophet’s work always have the effect of God’s people returning to Him (Jeremiah, Amos). Some prophets even landed in jail for their trouble (Jeremiah, John the Baptist, the Apostle Paul).
But the true prophet was concerned for the Word and will of God, and for the wellbeing of God’s people, since he knew that God would visit His wrath upon a nation or people that scorned His Law.
It’s important to note that both John the Baptist and Columbanus used the word, “lawful,” in rebuking their sovereigns. By that they meant the king was in violation of the Law of God. Herod was a secular king and Theuderich was barely a nominal Christian. Each, however, was subject to the over-rule of God and of Jesus Christ, His King; and each was responsible, according to John and Columbanus, for conduct consistent with the Law of God.
Do we consider our rulers today as responsible to God and His Law? What about the leaders of our churches and other Christian organizations?
Where are the prophets today who are speaking the truth of God’s Law to the lawmakers and rulers of this land? The voice of the prophet is all but silent in America, and the voice of folly rules the roost in legislatures, courts, and executive offices.
As well as in most other arenas of our society, including, sadly, the Church.
The prophet of God knows that the blessings of God abide on that land which conducts its affairs under the rule of King Jesus (Ps. 33.12). For love of country as well as love of God, the prophet calls his nation to repent and submit to the wisdom and Word of God while there is yet time.
Joel said that, in the last days, all those possessed by the Spirit of God would prophesy (Joel 2.28). God has entrusted His Word to us. We cannot preach what we do not know, so we need to make sure we are growing deeper in God’s Word every day.
And then we must proclaim that Word to the people in our Personal Mission Field, as well as to our nation.
God’s Word is sufficient to equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3.15-17). It is also sufficient to expose those areas of life, culture, and society which fall short of God’s glory and threaten to incur His wrath.
We are the prophets of God for our day. If we fail to hold our leaders – civil and ecclesiastical – as well as ourselves and our neighbors to the lawful standards of God’s Word, for every area of life, the love, which is already in short supply in our land, will continue to grow cold (Matt. 12.24), and we’ll have ourselves to blame when the now-restrained wrath of God breaks upon us with power.
Are you fulfilling your prophetic duty?
1. Note what Paul says about the Law of God in Romans 7.7, 12. Why does this make the Law especially important for us who are called as prophets of God?
2. What can you do to increase familiarity with and right use of the Law of God in your life?
Psalm 119.1-4 (Ode to Joy: God, All Nations Sing Thy Glory)
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
all who walk within God’s Law,
who, His testimonies keeping,
Seek Him, filled with joy and awe.
These are they who, no wrong doing,
ever walk within God’s ways.
Lord, Your precepts You command us;
we would keep them all our days.
How do I speak Your Word to the rulers of this nation, Lord? Show me, and I will!
“Oh, how I love Your Law!”
That’s Psalm 119.97. Can we say that sincerely with the psalmist? Two books can help you grow in your love for God’s Law. The Law of God gives you all the laws and statutes of God’s Law, arranged under the appropriate one of the Ten Commandments, for daily meditation (click here). The Ground for Chirstian Ethics explains why the Law still matters and guides us in understanding its right use (click here).
And don’t forget to order your copies of The Church Captive while it’s on sale (click here).
We pray that, if Crosfigell ministers to you, you’ll consider sharing with us in the financial support of our ministry. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Jonas, p. 53.