Prophet or Scribe?

Posted on 2011-07-13. Filed under: Quotes, Thoughts |

I just read an idea that resounded within me. It is a distinction on how one goes about following and obeying God and even how they may seek God. It speaks to the way people approach God, think of themselves and interact with others.

Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to nor understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the presence of God and they reported what they saw there. They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen. The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are overrun today with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God.

— A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Speaking with the hard voice of a scribe is something that I hear often and something I have been guilty of in the past. It is sadly also something that I will in all probability be guilty of in the future. But I also know that tender voice of the prophet. Real knowing – to distinguish from “book” (or even “Book” knowledge – of God softens your approach and reminds me of his love for you and those you deal with, regardless of their situation or actions. This experiential knowledge of God reminds you of the universality  of his undeserved grace and mercy.

It also may even make you smile more. 🙂

And lo, even a laugh comes forth from hence…

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