Eight Characteristics of a Prophet
- A prophet has a close relationship with God who reveals to them the desires of his heart. Amos 3:7. The prophet sees events and people from God’s perspective, not from a human point of view.
- Being in such a close relationship and close communication with God, the prophet often feels God’s grief over his peoples rebellion and sin. The prophet understands God’s purpose, plans and desires many times better than anyone else, which means that he or she also experience God’s emotions and responses. The prophet not only hears God’s voice but also feels God’s heart. Jeremiah 6:11, 15:16-17; 20:9.
- Like God, the prophet deeply loves God’s people. When the people hurt, the prophet feels deep pain (See the book of Lamentations.) A true prophet wants God’s best for them -Ezekiel 18:23, which means faithfully delivering messages that offer warnings and correction as well as words of hope, comfort and encouragement.
- The prophet knows that it is always best for the people to have complete trust and loyalty to God. For this reason, this servant warns them not to depend on human wisdom, wealth, power or false gods -Jeremiah 8:9-10; Hosea 10:13-14; Amos 6:8.. The prophets continually urge the people to live by God’s standards and covenant requirements in order to enjoy God’s freedom and benefits.
- The prophet is extremely sensitive to sin and evil -Jeremiah 2:12–13, 19; 25:3–7; Amos 8:4–7; Micah 3:8, which means that he or she is impatient with cruelty, crime, immorality and injustice. What might appear to most people as just a slight deviation from God‘s law is seen as a disaster by the prophet. He has little tolerance for moral and spiritual compromise, complacency, hypocrisy and excuses -Isaiah 32:11; Jeremiah 6:20; 7:8–15, 21-23; Amos 4:1; 6:1. Many times better than anyone else, the prophet shares God’s love of righteousness and goodness and God’s hatred of wickedness and evil -Hebrew 1:9.
- The prophet constantly challenges people for their lack of spirituality and tries desperately to encourage true obedience to God’s law. The prophet is dedicated totally to God, hating half-hearted commitments and demanding complete faithfulness to God.
- The prophet has a vision for the future. Sometimes it is expressed in predictions of disaster and destruction -Isaiah 63:1-6; Jeremiah 11:22-23; 13:15–21; Ezekiel 14:12-21; Amos 5:16-20, 27.
- Finally, the prophet is often a person of loneliness and sorrow Jeremiah 14:17-18; 20:14-18; Amos 7:10-13; Jonah 3-4.. Prophets are often persecuted by godly leaders and mistreated by false prophets who are predicting peace, prosperity and security for rebellious people -Jeremiah 15:15; 20:1-6; 26:8-11; Amos 5:10; Matthew 23:29–30 36; Acts 7:51-53.
These are some of the main characteristics of a prophet or prophetess.