Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Living A Parable for Today

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today

Is Your Prophet Speaking Though

The Parable of His Life

Hosea 1:1-2

The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri ..., 

 “Go and marry a promiscuous woman, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution.
This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord....


ParableSlides -

* The Story of a Reluctant Parable


Once, when I was going through a difficult time, God suggested that the events in my personal life and health might be a parable of his working with that congregation. It made sense at the time, but I was reluctant to allow the thought. 

When moving, I came across a letter I wrote when grappling with two battling desires--clarity that God had called me to a new pastorate and fear of being hurt by the church. In the letter God was responding to me. 

Laid out were the signs of blessing and victory if the church accepted the message God was sending me to bring -- a message and instruction that would answer an anticipation of what God wanted to do among them. The Holy Spirit had already stirred an escalating excitement over what he was calling them to do, but excitement only. They could articulate no vision, no sense of what it might be.

What man would not want to walk with a congregation through the doors and excitement of a major, transformative move of God.

But then God asked me if I was willing to go if the church rejected his will and turned against me.

In that section of the letter the nature of the attack that would occur, and even the excuses that would be thrown up in rejecting God's call to action, were all laid out. There were even hints of who the instigators of hurtful action would be and in some cases their exact words of opposition.

I was stunned!

While I had submitted to accept a vicious turn if God's message and call to action were rejected, in reality he had laid out for me in advance what actually happened, even the way it happened. And the turning to vicious attacks and attempts to kill the message by driving out the messenger had, after an initial and outward excitement, occurred within a five month window.

The parable that played out, was the parable of what the church would experience when they decided that they "had it" and could maintain and unfold the excitement and pleasure they had experienced. You will note in that statement a turn from God being in control by the active leading of his Holy Spirit through pray and meditation to human intellect and effort being sufficient in the people (and leaders) eyes.

The progress made was totally lost. The theology embraced as a substitute to what God had been laying out is a theology riddled with deception and error, but one that agreed with them by emphasizing the human ability to control spiritual outcomes. And the forward reaching ministry, the ability to connect to the non-believing community, dissipated into a return to the dynamics in play before the Holy Spirit had called them with such excitement.

They are content.

The devil is content.

The community simply says, "We knew that would happen. That's the way those people are."

Many families and lives have shamed the name of Christ.

God had called the men of the congregation to abandon the hypocrisy of their old ways and to also lead their women out of it. Their rejection of his message and instruction, the actions they took simply outlined that hypocrisy set in sharp relief against the withdrawing light of Christ.


* This is not an uncommon experience in the Bible.


It is common among the prophets. And every example left for us in scripture is the record of living parable. See 1 Corinthians 10:6.

Isaiah lives out a parable with his wife and child in chapter 8. He scandalously lives out another in chapter 20

Pinned ImageFor more examples read about the loin cloth in Jeremiah chapter 13. Jeremiah chapter 16 presents two calls for the prophet to live life as a parable: a call to remain unmarried and a call to violate the customs of the day. In chapter 18, a potter is living a parable life.

Ezekiel also lived God's parables. See chapter 24:15-19.

An example of a job Zachariah took as a living parable is found in Zech. 11:4-17.

But don't forget again that every story in the Bible, not just the lives of the prophets, is a living parable recorded by God as a warning to us who live the days of grace.

God still uses living parables to speak to his wayward children today.


** Is God speaking a parable for your congregation through your minister? Is his or her life a living parable for today?


** Israel almost never listened and repented. Will you?

Parable - unknown
Another Spirit Tablet by Same Old Stories All rights reserved
Shepherd's Wagon - unknown 

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