God provides occasions for His prophets to speak, but few have ever had a door of opportunity opened like Martin Luther King, Jr. did on August 28, 1963. It was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at which 250,000 people attended and millions more watched on TV.
King was scheduled to be the last speaker that day, behind other speakers and singers, such as Bobby Dylan, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Mahalia Jackson. King was allocated five to seven minutes to speak.
During the day, King was concerned about the short amount of time for his speech and wondered what he should say. As the time approached, Mahalia Jackson whispered, “Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream.”
You see, King started working on his “I Have A Dream” speech months earlier and had used parts of it at various settings. Many of his colleagues knew about it, but none had ever heard it spoken like that day. It electrified the crowd and America.
Now, if Martin Luther King, Jr. was truly a prophet sent by God to speak His message to America, then there is a part of King’s message, which needs to be reviewed again:
“But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.” (I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King Jr, September 28, 1963)
I truly believe Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prophet of God, whose words should be followed to obtain the fullness of blessings from God.
Yet, there was another prophet in that time period, too.
(Continued in Part 8…the full series to date can be seen here.)