The Joyful Prophet

If you have followed my series on the Hebrew prophets, you will remember that in the first article I identified the four key human emotions of Fear, Anger, Sorrow and Joy as being a useful guide to our understanding of prophetic experience. Having written about Fear and Anger already, you may be relieved to know that I have chosen 'Joy' next! The impression given so far is that the prophets are a harassed and frustrated bunch, even though my interpretation of Fear and Anger has, I hope, given you cause to look at these emotions in a new, less negative light.

The Angry Prophet

In the first article of this series, I wrote about the 'the fearful prophet'. Fear is a basic human emotion, and is clearly evidenced in the stories of the prophets. However, it may be transformed by inspiring godly action, and so become a spur to key events in the life of God's people in the Bible. The second basic emotion that I will explore is anger. The prophets experience every emotion, and there are plenty of examples of angry prophets.

The Fearful Prophet

My title is somewhat ambiguous, and intentionally so. Please bear with me as I explain the background to what I hope will be a series of articles about prophecy in the Old Testament. It's not what it seems. The Old Testament Prophet is often characterised as a fearsome figure with a forthright 'thus says the Lord' message. Have we unwittingly taken on board an image not unrelated to the frightening 'wrath of God' evangelist?

Priorities for the Church - 1/2

Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.

Many churches are unsuccessful because they don't know what they are trying to do. What are the objectives of the church according to the New Testament? We shall find out by looking at this picture of the first Christians in Jerusalem. Luke has given us this description as a pattern for subsequent companies of God's people to follow. There are four obvious and two less obvious activities. In this study we shall look at the first two.

Bible Study on Revelation - 2/4

Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11)

The Roman historian Lucian called the great trading city of Smyrna 'the fairest of the Cities of Ionia'. Behind its land-locked harbour rose a hill, encircled by a ring of noblemen's houses called 'The Crown of Smyrna'. How appropriate that Christ promises that those who are faithful will receive 'The crown of life' (v.10).