In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. – Gen. 1.1, 2, NASB
This passage of Scripture tells the beginning of the creation story. This is how it all came together, how it all went down. It tells us that from the beginning there was a heaven and an earth but that it was formless, void, and chaotic. From that chaos, God’s Spirit began to move and put things in order. We see this as the story progresses – at the word of God, light comes into existence, as does plants, trees, animals, and human beings.
What this passage illustrates is that God’s Spirit, his breath, is both creative and prophetic. His Spirit calls into being things that are not as though they were. His Spirit creates something out of nothing and puts back together what is dysfunctional, dead, and void.
However, God often invites His people to fulfill similar roles. In Ezekiel 37, he directed the prophet to begin to prophesy life over the valley of dry bones:
“Then he told me to speak to the bones and say: “O dry bones, listen to the words of God, 5 for the Lord God says, ‘See! I am going to make you live and breathe again! 6 I will replace the flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you shall live and know I am the Lord (Ezekiel 37.4-6, NLT).’”
And so the prophet did just that. As a result, the bones came back together, the muscles grew back together and flesh covered the skin. But it wasn’t until Ezekiel prophesied to the breath that the bones actually began to live. The word for breath here is the same one that is used in Genesis 1, and comes from the Hebrew word, Ruwach pronounced roo’-akh, which means, wind or breath. In both contexts, it represents life.
Now here is the amazing thing. The same Spirit that was present at creation, moving things from chaos to order, and that was present in Ezekiel giving life to what is dead, now dwells in every believer. So what does that mean for us? It means, that we can prophesy in the same way that Ezekiel did and in the same way that God did in the beginning – speaking life to what is dead and order to what is chaotic.
Not only can we prophesy, but we must. The world is waiting for us to speak and restore, heal and lift up. The world is waiting for us, the people of God to start prophesying justice, where there is injustice. It is waiting for us to proclaim reconciliation and healing, where there is racism and division. It is waiting for us to proclaim freedom in places where slavery of all kinds still has a strong hold.
If we are listening or paying attention in the slightest, we will hear the voices crying out, hungering for shalom. People are dissatisfied, disgusted, and weary because of the oppression that they experience on a daily basis. As God’s people, we cannot just sit idly by as they yearn for justice; let’s life our voices and give it to them. Prophesy!