After a long exile in Babylon, and then a change of dominant political power in that part of the world, the people of Judah were finally allowed to go back and rebuild their temple. In that time frame is Ezra 4:24-5:2,
“Now the construction of God’s house in Jerusalem had stopped and remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of king Darius in Persia. But when the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them, Zerubbabel son of Sheltiel and Jeshua son of Jezodak began to rebuild God’s house in Jerusalem. The prophets of God were with them, helping them.”
What really struck me about this was the simple idea that when the prophets prophesied to the people, they began to rebuild. They were activated by the Word.
A couple of years ago, I had this thought, that, there is a difference between speaking the truth, and speaking it in a such a way that the person hearing it is empowered to actually walk in accordance with it. There is a difference between simply hammering a point, and, activating it in those around you. I will also clarify that this is not about eloquence, this is about effectiveness. When it comes to truth, I think God is the least religious of all regarding the method of delivery, but effectiveness, on the other hand, is a promise (Isaiah 55:10-11).
A clarifying thought about prophecy: I have heard it said that prophecy is not so much about foretelling as it is about forth-telling. I have little interest in end-times enthusiasts who think that they have a good read on the times that we live in. What I am interested in are special revelations of truth and Divine love to individuals and groups of individuals. That is how I believe that I have seen prophecy functioning today.
A clarifying thought about the Word: in first chapter of the gospel of John, the author referred to Jesus as the Word. One such comment was that, “The Word became flesh and took up residence among us”(1:14). Jesus served as the perfect expression of God’s logos (which we translate ‘word’). I believe that a prophetic word is a word released into humankind in order to become flesh and take up residence among us. The legacy lives on as Jesus has multiplied his influence through the presence of the Holy Spirit. We have a tradition of punctuating prayers with “in the name of Jesus we pray”. However, I think we should use a different word to remind us what it’s about, “it’s according to the legacy of Jesus…”