What does the word “prophecy” suggest? The word has come to mean predicting the future. But the prophets of the Hebrew Bible were not speaking to the future, but to their own times. The role of the prophet, as theologian Matthew Fox points out, is to shake up the status quo, to awaken people to the fact that they have forgotten to put God first, to warn them of dangers to come if they don’t change their ways, and to assure them that God’s love and power are available to help them make the change.
Different prophets focused on different parts of this overall message, and so they speak to us today at different points in our own spiritual unfoldment, which so closely parallels the history of the Hebrew people.
Ezekiel, for example, is a prophet of hope and reassurance. He is best known for his vision of a valley filled with bones — “them bones, them bones, them dry bones” — but the vision concludes with the breath of Spirit returning life even to the dry old bones.
Our divine purpose is always to come up higher in consciousness, and Ezekiel’s assurance is that we will always receive what we need if we are willing. “A new heart I will give you,” the Lord of our being assures us through the prophet, “and a new spirit I will put within you.”
Today I feel in myself a new spirit centered in a new heart, carrying divine life and love to every cell within me.