“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
We know Jonah as the reluctant prophet. He was called to go to Nineveh but instead went the other way. Jonah didn’t run for fear of how his message would be received and that the Ninevites would shoot the messenger. He ran because he knew the people would repent and God wouldn’t bring upon them the disaster he felt they deserved.
We think of prophets as someone who predicts the future but that is not what this gift is about. A prophet is someone who speaks for God. In the Bible it tended to be a message about something God told them would happen but a person can speak for God just as well today without knowing the future.
Modern day prophets decry sin just like the prophets of old. They can warn of judgment to come because God has already announced judgment on sin. Prophets are simply proclaiming what God has already spoken in His Word.
Some call the gift of prophecy the gift of preaching. Indeed many preachers do fill the position of prophet in modern times. But just because a person stands behind the pulpit does not necessarily make them a prophet, nor does a person with this gift need to use it in a teaching capacity. They can proclaim God’s word at their work or any other place they go.