March 22, 2013
Egyptians, Babylonians, and Hebrews have similarities yet also differences in their religions. The importance is not in the similarities as much as it is in the differences that distinguish the cultures from each other and their views on life. Egyptian religion is polytheistic. The gods are present in the form of elements of life, natural forces and human condition The Egyptian gods interact more with each other than with the people. They interact with the people more on a supernatural level. Osiris, the Egyptian god of agriculture and afterlife, judges people when they die. Archaeology has shown that, before the Babylonian Exile, God's female consort was the goddess Asherah, who under different names was also the consort of the important Mesopotamian gods. Therefore it is difficult to find many differences between the Hebrew God and the Mesopotamian gods. A prophet is a spokesperson for God. The prophet warns, directs, encourages, intervenes, teaches and counsels. He brings the word of God to the people of God and calls the people to respond. The prophetic ministry begins in the presence of the Lord. This aspect of the ministry is well described in Jeremiah’s challenge to the false prophets. Which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? If they had stood in his council they would have proclaimed his words to his people and they would have turned from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. Jeremiah 23:18, 22. When the prophet knows the heart and mind of the Lord, he speaks the word of the Lord to his people. He stands before the people as one who have stood before God. Because his words come from the heart of God they are powerful and effective.