One of the common songs “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” mainly refer to Prophet Elijah ascending to heavens from the banks of river Jordan. Centuries later, John used the same river to baptize different individuals including our Christ. During all these golden ages, the leaders that were ordained by God and respected by the people were mainly kings and pronounced prophets. During this era, the prophets had the power to declare God’s judgment, and determine the possibility of change in a given circumstances. In this paper, a clear review of the variation on the conduct and intended message of these ancient and today’s prophets will be clearly reviewed.
In 9th century, the main concerned prophets were Elijah and Elisha. In their conduct, they exhibited numerous social, religious and behavioral characteristics. As prophets, they possessed powers to perform numerous miracles. These miracles varied from the power of controlling nature, reviving the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24), and healing through the spiritual realms. Social aspect suggests that most of these prophets practiced communal form of living with the master prophet and other minor prophets (2 Kings 4:38, 2 Kings 6:1). Some prophets of this ancient time were very influential, particular Elisha acting as advisor and counselor to the kings of Israel, Edom and Judah. Furthermore, Elisha prophesized on the making of King Hazael and Jehu of Aram and Israel respectively thus acted as a king maker.
In 8th century, Hosea, Isaiah, Amos and Micah emerged. These prophets provided relatively different characteristics in relation to the former ones. These prophets were completely capitulated to the existing order thus were less politically influential. Most of these prophets had spiritual experiences but did not practice ecstasy rather rely majorly on preaching, reasoning, and arguments. The message that was relayed by these prophets was majorly build on the instructions, theology and teachings of their predecessors. However, in some incidences emergence of new ideas was observed. These ideas and revelations uttered a more intellectual and reasoned terms as compared to the cases of Elijah and Elisha. Most of these prophets emphasized on the need for social justice as an instruction and desire from God. This can be observed in the incidences of Isaiah and Micah both condemning the corrupt landholder who had grabbed from the poor members of the society. Amos also in his work reinforces the call for social justice using extraordinary power of God’s word to depict the unfaithfulness of the Israelites.
In the essay, it is evidentially clear to notice that old prophets were well build both in theology and practice. It is important to note that although old prophet did extreme things for God, modern prophets also posses similar weight just as their counterparts. The old prophets pioneered to reveal new messengers from Good while the current are acting as their elevators by expounding on the already prophesized messages. God is still using the modern prophets to speak to us and we need to adhere to the directions that they stipulate. Christian believers should be grateful for every prophet that has been raised in our midst and deeply appreciate their message. They should understand that all prophets were raised by God to correct the religious and moral abuses, reclaim the religious truths that conform to the characters of God for now and forevermore.
Alexander, Pat, & David. The lion Handbook To the Bible, 3rd Edition. New York: Lion, 1999. Pp. 1-342
Coogan, D. Michael. The Old Testament . Ahistorical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Sriptures. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. 23-243