How Wilderness Ministry Models Effective Prophetic Ministry
Like the Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus is willing to be controversial and push things to their logical conclusion. He has a jealous love for people’s souls.
The Hebrew Prophets Seemed Weird but Look Closer and You’ll Find They Were the “Normal” Ones
The ministry of the prophets during biblical times was crucial for the health of society. And in many ways, wilderness ministry is a conduit for bringing a healthy and much-needed prophetic perspective to people we lead in the outdoors. In Education in Ancient Israel, Swift helps us understand the important role of prophetic leadership:
Through their spoken public addresses and writings they became creators of… social ideals, critics and inspirers of public policies, denunciators of social wrongs, preachers of individual and social righteousness…. In fulfilling each of these capacities they were acting as public teachers. In every national crisis they were at hand to denounce, to encourage, to comfort and always to instruct. They were the public conscience of Israel, the soul if it’s religion, the creators of public opinion, its most conspicuous, its most revered, its most convincing teachers. (38)
The Prophet’s Blunt Edge | It’s the Things We Can Understand that Really Get Under the Skin, Not the Things we Can’t
F.F. Bruce observes that just like the prophets, Jesus had two kinds of hard sayings: 1. Those that were hard to understand, and 2. Those that were too easy to understand! Mark Twain even picked up on this as he read the Bible. He once remarked that the things that bugged him the most about the Bible weren’t the things that he couldn’t understand, but it was the things that he could understand that really got under his skin.
Wilderness ministry can be a very effective tool to reveal that to be “weird” in the world’s eyes is actually “normal” in God’s eyes. How ironic.
- Take a few moments and think about the Scripture you have been reading lately. Jot down a passage or two that is hard for you to understand. Could it be hard to understand because of the callousness of your own heart?
- Now join in the ranks with Mark Twain for a moment: Are there any passages that you DO understand that are really getting under your skin? If so, try to be brave and say “yes” to whatever God might be saying to you in those passages. Beware of the obvious.
Thanks for following: