God Answers Israel’s Plea: The Beginning of Prophecy

When we think about the incarnational nature of God’s revelation to man, we recognize that God chose to use prophets to communicate to man, but we do not know why until we return to the Ten Commandments and the Book of Exodus.

To begin to understand why God uses prophets, it is essential to return to the Ten Commandments because, as James Kugal points out, in the book of Exodus, the first two commandments are presented in first person. That is, God refers to Himself as “I.” For the next eight commandments, in contrast, God is referred to in the third person.

This fascinating transition from the first person to the third person represents the beginning of prophecy and God’s use of intermediaries to speak to His people.

In a sense, this was done at the bequest of man, who proclaimed great fear at hearing God directly, and begged that Moses be the one to transmit God’s law (Ex. 20: 18-21).

All men are flawed, including prophets (with the exception of Jesus Christ, for He is God made flesh). Prophecy, then, is necessarily also flawed. Prophets, even Moses himself, are not perfect, and this reality must always be considered when thinking about God’s word and prophecy.

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