5 Understandable Words for Today

"Can anyone become a prophet?"  1 Samuel 10:12

This simple five word question begs for an answer. What led to this question being poised? 1 Samuel 8 describes how Samuel's oldest sons, Joel and Abijah, were the executive judges for the central region of Israel in Beersheba. Unfortunately, they did not reflect the same godly characteristics of their father. This must have been difficult for Samuel to realize, as he had witnessed similar characteristics in Eli's sons during his years of service in the temple at Shiloh. (see 1 Samuel 2:23-26)  Samuel's son's: "...accepted bribes and perverted justice." (1 Samuel 8:3)

The leaders of Israel took action to end this cycle and called a meeting in Ramah to discuss the issue with Samuel. They posed three main points: (1) Samuel was aging out, (2) Samuel's sons were corrupt, (3) a proposal of a king to judge and rule would give Israel diplomatic favor by maintaining a government similar to the countries around them. (see I Samuel 8:5) The proposal did not strike Samuel as a positive one. However, he sought guidance from God Who advised him to go along with the proposal, for this was not about rejecting Samuel and his sons, as the real motivation was the nation rejecting God - a pattern adopted since being delivered from Egypt. God then advised Samuel to warn the people about the liabilities of monarchy. (see I Samuel 8:6-9)

Samuel warned the national leaders of such a major shift in governance. However, "the people refused to listen", stating, "we still want a king" (both five word phrases in 8:19). Then they totally indicted themselves with the statement: "We want to be like the nations around us." (8:20) Thus, Samuel was directed by God to anoint Saul as king. (A very intriguing episode when God used the donkeys belonging to Saul's father to lead Saul to Samuel. It's worth the quick read, found in 1 Samuel 9:1 - 10:2)

After Samuel had anointed Saul as the future king of Israel, which by the way includes the five words: "...the Lord has appointed you..." (10:1) Samuel described a sequence of events which would occur on Saul's journey back to his father's home. Samuel detailed how the Spirit of the Lord would come upon Saul powerfully, stating, "You will be changed into a different person." Samuel also related how this would effect Saul to prophesy with a "band of prophets" (10:5) After this time with Samuel, Saul turned to leave and God gave him a new heart. (10:9) Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, not from the tribe of Levi. Priests and prophets were from the tribe of Levi, yet there is the record of Saul "prophesying" with the other prophets... pointing hearts to God - our Provider, our Protector, and our Personal Savior.

Though the sequence of events leading to this 'new heart', may seem different, the outcome is still the same today: when people's hearts are changed by the power of God's Spirit, the NATURAL outcome is (1) to prophecy (to agree with others who prophecy, as Saul agreed with the band of prophets); (2) to tell others about the life change which occurred; and (3) to be a different person than you were previously, with a new heart (a new world view - God's righteous view for oneself and mankind).  The same occurs with the Christ follower once one begins to follow Christ. His/her life is transformed over time, resulting in a new heart, a new perspective - and a changed person from what he/she used to be. 

 We, like Saul, may not have the spiritual pedigree of the Billy Graham family, though when God calls us and ignites the change in our hearts, we are just as reliable a source to proclaim His salvation as Billy Graham.

Can anyone become a prophet? Well, according to this scripture..... YES! As God calls and anoints one to proclaim His message of redemption to the world and through the transforming power of God's Spirit in us.

Turn your heart to Christ. Let Him create in you a new heart - a pure heart (Psalm 51:10); then tell everyone in your circle of influence about Christ's life-changing power and how God changed you into a different person.

for Christ alone,

steve (John 3:30)