Wednesday, September 06, 2017
I can't help it!
[First Samuel 12] Verse 23 strongly suggests that intercession “is an inextricable part of the prophetic role.” It seems as if Samuel is not at liberty to refuse Israel’s request for advocacy before Yhwh. We shall see in our reading of Isaiah’s, Jeremiah’s, and Amos’s intercessory prayers that their ministries were driven by a compulsion to defend the sinful party even against divine prohibition to pray for the people. … Defending the sinful people in intercessory prayer before a loving and just God is the benchmark of the authentic prophet. Like Moses, Samuel is aware that Israel breached the covenant, and yet he could not but advocate for divine grace. In doing so, the prophet reflects in a sense the heart of Yhwh. Just as God could not cast away His repentant people in spite of their sins (cf. 1 Sam 12:22), so Samuel could not help but intercede for the undeserving.—Standing in the Breach, pages 203–4