We Don’t Want To Obey God, We Want to Be God

Driscoll knocked it out of the park in this discussion on the prophets:

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This is what God does. He sends loving, humble, truth-telling servants, the prophets. They receive a word from God and they communicate it either in written or in verbal form. And the people are hard-hearted, stiff-necked, and rebellious. They’re a bunch of wicked rebels, and what they do is they oppose God and they persecute the prophets.

To be a prophet—Abraham Heschel says it right—it’s both a distinction and an affliction. So, God picked you to be a prophet. “Yay, what’s what mean?” You’re gonna die. “Ah.” See, nobody wanted to be a prophet. We read the Bible and I hear that all the time. “Oh, the people in the Bible, they had bad motives. They were just in it for themselves.” Not the prophets. There’s no kid in high school, you know, saying, “When I go to college, I’m gonna major in being a prophet ’cause that’s the slot I want for my life course.”

You didn’t want to be a prophet. God had to pick the prophets. The prophets didn’t generally volunteer. God goes to [Jonah] and says, “You’re going to be a prophet.” “No, I’m not. I’m out of here. I’m done.” God comes to Isaiah, “You’re going be a prophet.” His first question is, “How long? How long?” . . . To be a prophet was difficult because you were sent by God as sort of this lone voice to tell all of the professing people of God, “You’re wrong. You’re in sin. You’re in rebellion. You’re being wicked. You’re fighting against God. You’ve rejected the truth. Turn from your sin. Repent. Change. There’s a sense of urgency. Do it now.”

They would all get together and say no. Then they would bring in some religious leader they paid a lot of money and say, “We pay you to contradict that person. And then we’ll pay you well. And if he doesn’t be quiet, we’ll kill him.” And that’s what happened to the prophet.

I wrote down some examples for you: Elijah ran for his life. Jeremiah was mocked and thrown in a pit, left for dead. Zechariah was murdered. And John the baptizer, beheaded. That’s what happens to a prophet.

Back to the story that Jesus is telling, these are the servants that God has sent to us, to human beings, to rebels on the earth, to those of us who were enjoying his lavish, gracious provision. This is such an issue that when Stephen, an early church deacon, was preaching and they were getting ready to kill him, he had the most amazing sermon in Acts 7 and he says, “You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears, you are just like your fathers. You always resist the Holy Spirit. Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?”

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