The Prophetic Gift Lesson 2 January 10, 2009
The Prophetic Gift
January 10, 2009
Leading thought. Last week we looked at basic ways God uses to communicate with His people: Nature, Scripture, Jesus, other people, and light that He sends to all. This week we take a broad look at the prophetic gift itself. Why does God rely on prophets to deliver messages or make God's revealed Word clearer? Why doesn't He give all of us the same visions or messages and let us sort things out on our own?
1. Satan's messages. The parable at the beginning of the lesson opens an interesting field of questions. Satan loves to feed people lies and threats, boldly labeling them "prophecy." In some cases he is not prevented from carrying out his predictions. Are we as church members immune from Satan's messages? Where in Scripture can we find the best description of godly prophets as individuals informed by God and commissioned to share true and timely messages?
2. A Friend of God. The first requirement for being a prophet of God is to be His friend, a person who walks so closely with God that he or she can recognize God's voice. Abraham was that kind of a person, but was he a good example to others in every respect? Are prophets required to be free from all sin and human blemishes? If not, what are other ways we can tell that someone has truly been called to be a special messenger of God?
3. Moses did it all. From a rescue in the river to a life in the palace and the murder in a field of a person representing his people's oppressors, Moses had an unusual background to prepare him as a prophet of God. Yet he is considered the most godly of all prophets. How did God teach Moses what he needed to know to lead His people effectively? What kind of a relationship did they have that qualified Moses to speak for God? To what extent should we ask God to lead us to follow the example of Moses the prophet?
4. Our debt to Bible prophets. Moses may have been the most godly prophet in Bible times, but he was not the last. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible is packed with prophetic messages from dozens of messengers of God. Two prophetic books that deal with the future, Daniel and Revelation, are the basis of many evangelistic presentations in the Adventist church today. In what ways has your Christian life been blessed by messages of prophets in the Bible? In your personal study, what Bible prophet has been the most devotional? the bravest? the most helpful?
5. Prophets of both genders. Since we believe that God sees us without prejudice for our gender, should we be surprised that the women Deborah, Huldah, and Miriam were also prophets? (or prophetesses?) Was Huldah, as an example, in any way assigned to fill a motherly or female role as a prophet?
Should it matter to us today if a church leader or spokesperson for God is a woman? Should we spend time debating why God has chosen women to serve His purposes as prophets? Why or why not? Give your reasons.
6. Prophet or Apostle. The lesson points out in Thursday's lesson that a prophet might be an apostle, but that not all of them were. What actions separated the apostles called to serve as prophets from their peers who were not? In what ways does the message of John the Baptist surmount the messages of all Old Testament prophets? What about now? Do you ever feel disappointed that God didn't give more specific dates and events so that we could compare all the end-time prophecies with real world events? Do we sometimes over-emphasize the predictive role of prophecy over the devotional and inspirational role of God's prophets? How can the spiritual lessons in prophetic messages help keep us from extreme interpretations of current and future events?
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