Esteeming the Unknown Prophets

2 Chron 15:1, “The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, ‘Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.’”

The Spirit of God/of prophecy came upon Azariah. The Spirit “came on” him means there was a special movement of the divine presence. As the Spirit moves, he has the power to release a movement of revival, but he usually starts with one person: in this case, an unknown prophet named Azariah. So the anonymous Spirit moves upon the unknown prophet to bring a human being into the supernatural movements of the triune God. This is the first and last time you’ll hear about this unknown prophet, Azariah son of Oded, an unknown hero—unknown to most people but well known to God! He may not have been popular or well known, but he was faithful and available; sometimes God is just looking for us to be available. By the New Testament’s standard, the unknown prophets of the Old Testament are replaced by the largely unknown heroes of the Christian life. Paul put it like this: 2 Cor 6:4, “As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: . . . 9 known, yet regarded as unknown.” Whether unknown or well known, what does it take to be great in God’s kingdom? It takes coming into agreement with God’s Spirit.

 The prophetic Spirit came upon Azariah, and he spoke. 15:2, “The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.” This isn’t a candy coated message of definite blessing, but this prophet is warning of the potential crisis of God’s presence. Essentially the prophet is saying, ‘God’s presence is relational, and you must stay with him for him to stay with you!’ The LORD’s presence will not abide with you indefinitely! The prophet’s warning couldn’t be more clear: “The LORD is with you when you are with him,” which is similar to James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

So how do we know when we are “with him”? Azariah’s next words add some clarification: v. 2b, “Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.” Most notably the Old Testament crowd abandoned/forsook God by ignoring & rejecting his Law (cf. 2 Chron 24:20). But if they would “seek” God by insisting upon a life based on his word (and his Law), they would most certainly find him! They will discover the depths of his presence in their lives. Their nation would defeat every enemy that came against. They would display the Life of a Living God to a dying world.

Will you, dear Christian, allow God to use you as one of his unknown prophets, an unknown hero, that will usher in one of the great revivals of the ages?

~Pastor Roy