angelico_wheelsSitting in my Hebrew Bible class we begin to study the prophets, and I learn a few things which make their message clearer.

– Court prophets were basically cheerleaders for the king, and did not question what the king was going to do, just tried and help him do what he had already decided, and make it more successful.

– False prophets were only concerned with their particular region, country, or geographic area. God was there to protect their own group, and to vanquish all of their enemies.

True prophets were not part of the establishment. True prophets realized, and preached a message saying that God was the God of ALL people, All Nations, and was concerned with people’s enemies as well as those peoples in which the prophet lived and worked. Prophets had a keen understanding of the politics of their day, and were in tune with a refined geographical awareness.

Prophets spoke their words to a people who wanted to know why they had failed. Why did the Assyrians invade, and why was a nation of people dragged off to Babylon? Why did monarchy fail? What is the meaning of covenant, and what happens when people are taken away, and forced to live in a foreign land?

Through biographical information, indictments, with pleads to the people, or on behalf of the people to God, prophets spoke of restitution, restoration and transformation.

Maybe, today, in light of a world wide financial crisis, it would be good for us to look around, and ask similar questions, “why did we fail?” Why is there a deeper chasm between those who have, and those who have not? Has greed become an idol? Do we have a gluttonous view of having enough, and what IS enough? Is profit worth the degradation, and subjugation of people? In a similar vein, is it not enough to simply make a profit, and does surging over 150% above a profit margin account for success, or the idolization of  gluttony or power?

If, indeed, God is active in the lives of humanity, I find it curious that the financial upheaval is global. Maybe this is a good time to consider where we have been, and what we, as a people, might do in the future to readjust our priorities — maybe a restoration might be a transforming event for each and every one of us.