Summary: Though a flawed man, King inspired change in an entire nation through moral and spiritual appeal
"M L King: A Prophet to America"
Haggai 1:1-4,12-15 2:1-9
[sermon notes. 1/94. Harold Miller, Corning NY]
going to look at a prophet --from God-- to America.
but first want us look (briefly) at prophet God sent to Isr .
turn to Haggai 1
when is this? who are these persons?
600 yrs before Christ, "Babylonian captivity" - God’s people
taken into exile for about 70 yrs
"2nd yr of Darius" figures out to be 16 yrs after some of these
exiles began to return
as returned, one of main thing on minds: rebuild temple.
But the neighboring Samaritans gave them a hard time.
and also the city walls needed repaired.
and the Israelites needed to start their crops going.
So for 16 yrs virtually nothing was done on the temple.
Well, Haggai began prophesying.
goes on warn what happen if they don’t build.
but less than a mo later, needed more enc :
some were evidently discouraging others. "look at this puny house.
no comparison w "
"2:1-4" [notice again msg " am w you."]
short-range view of what God is asking now.
rebuild the temple.
"be strong...& work"
long-range view of what God will make the future to be.
God will fill this house w a great glory. "that former-
temple (that people were talking about)--won’t be able to
’hold a candle’ to the greater glory of this house."
virtually all the prophets followed that 2-pronged approach.
now to America.
we need a prophet now to spk to our country. call to
We also needed one 30 yrs ago.
if you had been on the state capitol grounds in Jackson,
Mississippi, on a certain Sunday morning in 1965, you’d have
seen a strange sight.
Across the street was a large ch , and at the top of the front
steps stood a row of white ushers, arms linked, barring the way
to the doors.
There were 4 or 5 black men, conservatively dressed for ch ,
standing on the lower steps, facing the doors. As one of these
men approached the top step, an usher disengaged his arm and
smashed the would-be visitor in the face, sending him sprawling
down the step.
Inside, the congregation was singing the opening hymn: "Love
divine, all loves excelling..."
Philip Yancey (author) who grew up outside of Atlanta, GA:
"When news came over the intercom system that Pres John F
Kennedy had been shot, students in my high school stood &
cheered. They cheered bec he was the Pres who had proposed
civil-rights legislation [which worked to de-segregate Whites &
Blacks] and had then backed it up by forcing the U of Miss to
integrate." *ChnT* Jan15’90 p22
Yancey also wrote about a ch he attended in the 60’s.
the pastor there taught that God consigned Blacks to life as
lowly servants when cursed the son of Noah their ancestor.
his pastor would say from the pulpit: --"That explains why black
people make such good waiters and household servants. Watch a
black waiter move thru a crowded restaurant, swiveling his
hips, balancing a tray of food above his head. He’s good at
that job bec that’s the job God destined him for."
*ChnT* Jan15’90 p25
On Dec 1, ’55 in Montgomery, AL, a black woman named Rosa Parks
got on a city bus. She sat down gratefully in first empty
seat, her feet tired after a long day.
a few stops later a white man demanded that she give up her
seat to him and move to the back of the bus. she was too
tired; said she wasn’t getting up from her seat. she was
arrested. *GH* editorial Jan13’87p32
America needed a prophet. ...& God sent one.
the black comm began a bus boycott--car-pool & walk. To lead
this boycott, chose as a compromise candidate the new
minister in town, 26 yrs old, M L King.
as soon as King’s lship of boycott was announced, the threats
from the KKK began against him.
and from the police. --within days King was arrested for
driving 30 mph in a 25 mph zone & thrown in the Montgomery
The following night King, shaken by his first jail exper , sat
up in his kitchen wondering if he could take it anymore.
Should he resign? it was around midnight.
he felt agitated and full of fear. --A few minutes before, the
phone had rung. "Nigger, we are tired of you and your mess
now. And if you aren’t out of this town in 3 days, we’re going
to blow your brains out, and blow up your house."
King sat staring at an untouched cup of coffee and tried to
think of a way out.
In the next rm lay his wife, Coretta, already asleep, along w