Home Prophets Six ways Yahweh is perceived among prophets

Six ways Yahweh is perceived among prophets

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By Priest Isaiah White

Prophecy was the vehicle that drove the religion of Israel from magic to a worship relationship between God and man.
This God-Man relationship was presented in six ways as briefly shared below:

Yahweh in the Prophets
1-Yahweh as Law. In the Old Testament, the prophets present the Law of God as the will of God and, therefore, who He is substantially (Exodus 20, Psalms 119).

The prophetic understanding of Yahweh as the law was not restricted to the dictates of the law, but to establish this God as the principle cause and regulator of everything.

He was not just the moral law, but the determinant of all functionality moral and amoral (Isaiah 46:10).

2- Yahweh as the Lord of nature: The prophets found a religion that worshipped nature as god and replaced it with a God of Nature.

They replaced the worship of natural phenomenon with the worship of the Creator.

Idol worship in the old primitive belief was demonstrated in the worship of nature. The rise of prophets rectified this when it launched Yahweh as the sole Creator.

This is how we ended up with the creation accounts in Genesis 1.

The prophetic understanding of Yahweh as the Law was not restricted to the dictates of the Law, but the establishment of this God as the principle cause and regulator. (Source/Jewish News)

The prophets taught that God was the Creator and creatures could not be gods.

They also taught that God was behind natural disasters and all seasons.

3- Yahweh as the Lord of History: The Yahweh that was presented by Prophets was one with a historical relationship with humankind together with their success and failures.

The prophets argued that our problem was a result of a broken relationship with our principal cause (God the Creator) and that the remedy could only be a reunion with Him.

Prophets insisted that this was not a particular race predicament or exclusive solution, but a universally accepted history.

They taught that Yahweh is not merely involved in nature, but in choices as well (Isaiah 45:11-12).

Yahweh is being enthronement and dethronement.

By this, the prophets popularized theocracies and warned leaders.

Yahweh as the Lord of History also involved what theologians call ‘Heilsgeschichte’ which means the salvation historical journey of God with us sinners (He became flesh-Isaiah 7, dwelt among us -Isaiah 9, and died for our sinners-Isaiah 53).

4- Yahweh as the Lord of ethics: Religion, in its primitive stage had believed an amoral God, but the emergence of prophets launched a moral God.

However, to the prophets, God was not moral (set of written rules) but an ethical God (internal humane quotients).

There is a difference between morals and ethics. Having morals is doing what is on paper, while being ethical is doing what ought to be (at a personal level).

Many times the prophets denounced the legal policies, claiming they were oppressive even though they were politically, culturally and religiously agreed upon (Amos 1:3-15).

The prophets condemned rituality, pretence and hypocrisy harshly.

To the prophets, it was not about doing what the law states (whether it was ecclesiastical or not), but what ought to be in the general will of God.

5- Yahweh as the God of Israel: To the prophets, Israel was something bigger than a race.

Israel meant all believers (Israelites and Gentiles) in the one true God.

When you read through the prophets you realise the divide between their faith and Judaism; and fundamentally that divide is based on how each group understood the theology of the Church.

To Judaism, the Church of God was the racial Israel into which all had to be proselytised at least, while to the prophets the Israel of God was whoever believed in Yahweh.

It is in the prophets that we first learn what the Church of God is.

Yaweh was the God of nature.

6- Yahweh as the Lord of last things: Though eschatology was much older than canonical prophets, they found it necessary to correct men’s ideas on the subject (Amos 5: 18-20).

The prophets reminded men of what they (men) knew, that since the world began, it will end.

However, they established the truth that he who began it is the only one who could end it. There were, however, three fundamental peculiarities to the eschatological understanding of the then world in contrast to that of the prophets.

First, they believed in a political and national eschatology but the prophets emphasised an ethical and universal eschatology.

Secondly, the world’s eschatology interpreted human beings as the end time victim and villain, but the prophets established the side of God and the side of Satan; and one’s eternal fate depended highly on the final side they stood.

Finally, the eschatology of then did not have what we call the eschaton (last of last things), but the eschatology of the prophets taught the dismissal of this world and the creation of a new one (Isaiah 65:17).

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