"Eye of God" by Riek Jonker
Art Katz says of the prophets that they live in the eternal future while at the same time being in a clear continuum with the biblical past, and speak on truth and reality throughout all ages and the ages to come.
That actually makes sense to me without having to think about it. I watch the Middle East and the Pacific unravel while simultaneously studying Isaiah and Ezekiel, as well as writing about Samuel. I am willingly carried away on the continuum of the prophets between biblical past and eternal future.
The Old Testament prophecies feel as real and current to me as if I'm reading the newspaper. The prophets' words ebb and flow between their present and my present. When Isaiah jumps from speaking about King Hezekiah (eighth century B.C.) to discussing the last days (twenty-first century A.D.?), I scarcely feel the leap. When "thus saith the Lord" shifts from judgment to mercy, it feels as smooth to me as a transition into fifth gear after entering the freeway.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD to them: "Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep. Because you have pushed ... butted all the weak ones ... and scattered them abroad, therefore I will save My flock ... And I, the LORD, will be their God ... "
~ Ezekiel 34:20-24 (NKJV)
I had a general idea on Friday what I would write for this Sunday post. Even so, I was caught off guard during our Bible lesson on Saturday when I read the above passage, and then found myself completely choked up when we landed on the chapter's final verse:
"You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God," says the Lord GOD.
~ Ezekiel 34:31 (NKJV)
I began the day with Isaiah, reading of Jerusalem's horrific destruction, which is followed within a couple of verses by these words:
"Comfort, yes, comfort My people!"
Says your God.
~ Isaiah 40:1 (NKJV)
There is no doubt in my mind that the prophets were overwhelmed by the messages they were given to bear. In their words I feel the grief carried by them and by God. I cannot imagine how they would have continued without the embrace of His words as He speaks tenderly.
When I write biblical fiction late at night, I dim the lights, step back into another time and place, and enter into the lives of people inextricably connected to me by the same Spirit. On a good many days, I don't wholly re-enter the present, but part of me remains with the prophets ...
My continual prayer is that such travels bring the Word of God fully to life when I share it with others, and that I inspire them (you) to make the journey more often—and perhaps take it more slowly.
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Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.