At the heart of spiritual growth is reading, knowing, and loving the Bible. My favourite title for the Bible is “God’s Word”. The idea of “words” are central to communication. God is a God of communication. He has a message that He wants each of us to understand. He has communicated this message to us in a book that we commonly call the Bible. In order to show any who have an open heart that the Bible truly is God’s Word, He has written of future events before they happen. This is called “prophecy“.
The Bible is filled with prophecy. Consider Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” Those words were written around 750 years before Jesus was born.
500 years before Jesus was born, the ancient prophet Zechariah wrote, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
This was fulfilled quite literally as documented by the Apostle John: “…(they) went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!’ Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:” (John 12:13–14)
There are hundreds of prophecies in the Bible that have already been fulfilled.
Many prophecies that have not been fulfilled have to do with the second coming of Jesus and the end of the age. I, for one, believe that these will be fulfilled literally. After all, the prophecies of His first coming have been fulfilled literally. (Scholar John Walvoord actually wrote a book which briefly describes all the prophecies in the Bible!)
A good student of God’s Word will be able to discern the signs of the times.Pat Sieler
When Jesus was on earth, the religious leaders came to Him and asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. Jesus called them hypocrites, admonishing that they knew how to predict the weather by looking at the sky, but could not discern the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:1-3). I wonder if He would say that about any of us today?
A good student of God’s Word will be able to discern the signs of the times. Biblically, we can put them in three categories:
1. Geo-political (the alignment of nations)
2. Natural phenomena
3. Spiritual condition of mankind (attitudes, actions, and apostasy)
Over the next series of post, we will be looking at some of these signs, examining current events, and, more importantly, examining our own hearts.
Question: How has prophecy in God’s Word strengthened your faith? Share in the comments section.