Listen to this article, read by the author, Jessie Mejias.
I love to read the Old Testament. I think that the characters, that is, people who actually lived, are so rich, but most of all, I love them because they are so flawed. They give me so much hope when I look at myself because one of the things that I see in people like Abraham, Moses, and David—especially David!—is that you can be a hot mess and still be “a man after God’s own heart.”
But I’ve never been a super fan of the Prophets. They seem to be too good for me to relate to. However, there was a period a few years ago where I felt like God was having me read through Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Every time I finished a book, I would go back and try to give a subtitle to the book. Isaiah seemed to be a book about God calling out sin in His people while bringing so much good news that I subtitled it: “But God…” The whole thing with God replacing hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and causing dry bones to live again made me subtitle Ezekiel as “God Addresses Earthly Rebellion with Supernatural Deliverance.” Daniel was a straight-up goody-two-shoes, so I subtitled that book “Demonstration of Integrity (and its Rewards).”
I was just about to start reading Hosea when I felt a check in my spirit. I asked God if I was supposed to continue just reading through the prophets. He said no, that I should go back and review Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. He wanted me to dig for gold in these books. I’m not much of a one for exegesis, so I just started looking for some themes I could see.
There are passages in Isaiah (40:31 and 61:3) that make me think about hope in the Lord; Some in Ezekiel (36:26 and all of chapter 37) that remind me of the power of the Lord; and some in Daniel (2:28, 3:17-18, and 6:22) that speak to me of trust in the Lord.
Still, I wasn’t sure if this was the gold I was supposed to find. So I started thinking about what these three Prophets have in common. I mean, what do they, as people, share?
Well, of course, they were all sold out to God. But as I looked a little closer, I could see three things that were true of each of them and three commands that God gave to each of them.
Each one was separated unto God, set apart for a purpose, which is the definition of holiness. God told each of them to “Go.” He chose each one and said this is what I want you to do and then sent them out to do it. (Isaiah 1:9; Ezekiel 2:1-3; Daniel 1:8.)
Each one was humble and saw how small and sinful he was next to a holy God. Because they could see what was really in their hearts (and the hearts of the people), God told each of them to “Speak”—or in Daniel’s case, to “Seal up the vision,” i.e., “Write.” (Isaiah 1:5; Ezekiel 3:16; Daniel 6:22, 9:1-19.)
In the end, the best thing about each of these Prophets is that each one brought a message of hope. God told each of them to “See,” and He showed them the great good He intended for His people despite their sin and rebellion. (Isaiah 40:31, chapter 61; Ezekiel 11:19, 37:1-14; Daniel 7:9.)
So I said, okay, Lord, why are these things important? I mean, how are they going to help me and help the people I minister to?
His response was simple.
“These prophets were human just like you. Their journey is the journey for every one of my children. I want to set each of you apart, give you a purpose, pat you on the bottom and say ‘Go,’ just like a mom or a dad pats their little one on the bottom and says, ‘Go play,’ or ‘Go to school.’ When you know that you are mine, that you are special, that I can cleanse your lips like I cleansed Isaiah’s, that I can make you a watchman like I made Ezekiel, that I can put a heart of integrity into you like Daniel, you won’t hesitate to do the thing that I have put on your heart. You will be fearless and bold for me.
When I say ‘Speak’ you will open your mouth and I will put words in it. You will be surprised at the things you say for their wisdom and ability to cut through the lies. You will marvel and say, that wasn’t me, that was God. You will marvel at my ways, at my will, and at the plan that I have that is so much bigger than any plans you can have.
And when I say ‘See’ you will be able to peer into spiritual dimensions and see things you hadn’t imagined before and that you couldn’t make up, not in a million years, and you will KNOW that it wasn’t you, it was God.
In other words, none of my children are prevented from being as mighty in spirit as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. It’s just a matter of saying ‘Yes.’ That is the main thing that each one had in common: He said ‘Yes.’”
The next time you hear God saying, “Go,” “Speak,” or “See,” will you just say “Yes?” When you do, God will take you on the ride of your life to places you hadn’t imagined you could ever go. And you’ll never regret it.