1 Corinthians 13 Part 2
by Sonya Richards
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“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:2
According to the web site Judaism 101, “Many people today think of a prophet as any person who sees the future. While the gift of prophecy certainly includes the ability to see the future, a prophet is far more than just a person with that ability.
A prophet is basically a spokesman for God, a person chosen by God to speak to people on God's behalf and convey a message or teaching. Prophets were role models of holiness, scholarship and closeness to God. They set the standards for the entire community.” http://www.jewfaq.org/prophet.htm
The Bible has hundreds of prophesies, but not all prophets have the people’s good at heart. Take, for example, Jonah. God called Jonah to prophesy to the people of Nineveh about God’s judgment on their sin and what would happen to them if they did not turn from their sin and turn to God, but Jonah did not want to preach to Nineveh. He knew God would forgive them if they repented, but Jonah thought they deserved judgment instead of mercy. After he initially ran from God and found himself swallowed by a whale, he agreed to go, but he did so grudgingly. Even though when the people heard his prophecy, they repented and were saved, Jonah was not happy about it. Jonah did not love the people of Nineveh, but God did. God wanted the people to be saved; Jonah wanted the people to be punished. In the end, he only agreed to go to save himself from God’s wrath.
“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD, ‘Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ But the LORD replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?'
Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, 'It would be better for me to die than to live.' But God said to Jonah, 'Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?' 'It is,' he said. 'And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.' But the LORD said, 'You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?'" Jonah 4:1-11
Even though Jonah had the gift of prophecy, he did not have love for those that God loved and wanted to save. Paul said that if we have all of these things – prophecy, knowledge and even faith to move mountains, but we do not love others, we are nothing. We are nothing because without love, we have nothing. If we can fathom the mysteries of God and we have memorized verse after verse after verse, if we can quote the bible perfectly, if we have all the faith in the world in what God can do, and we do not put all of that into action by loving God’s people, saved and unsaved, it is just so much wood, hay and stubble to be burned on that great Judgment Day. We may be saved, but just so. I think without our acts of love and obedience to the Lord’s calling here on earth--to love one another --we will stand before Him one day with regret over all that we left undone. God is calling us to LOVE one another and to preach the gospel in all the world and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We know that Jonah loved himself and his comfort and did his best to provide for himself, but did he even love God? The Bible does not say specifically, but Jesus said, “If you LOVE me, you will do the things I say. Without love, we have nothing.
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