Michael Brown on Prophecies Are Not Simply Newspaper Headlines in Advance

Now that the New York TimesPolitico and other, major secular outlets have covered the failed presidential prophecies, why don’t we make this a teachable moment and ask a basic question about prophecy? Specifically, when prophecy is predictive (and therefore foretelling rather than forthtelling), is it equivalent to headline news in advance?

The reason I ask this question is because the recent presidential prophecies were presented like news headlines in advance, informing us of specific dates and details, none of which came to pass. Yet millions of Christians were urged to believe these specific words and were rebuked when they saw fit to question them.

But is prophecy normally that specific, especially in terms of dates? Is this the biblical pattern?

To be sure, many events are predicted in the Bible with specificity, and on rare occasion, there are specific times and dates put on the prophecies.

But that is certainly not the norm. Instead, future prophecies are frequently spoken in such a way that there is some level of ambiguity in terms of how, exactly, they will come to pass. And often, it is only once they have come to pass that we realize they were true. Otherwise, people would try to manipulate them into happening prematurely or try to stop them from coming to pass.

Think about for it a minute.

The most important prophecies in history had to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus. And when you read passages like Isaiah 53—see our animated video on this amazing chapter here—it seems totally clear. God predicted it hundreds of years in advance!

Yet, to our knowledge, no one in Jesus’ generation fully understood those prophecies until after His death and resurrection. And even then, He had to open His disciples’ eyes. Then they saw it all clearly. It was all written in advance. (Read all of Luke 24 for two relevant accounts.)

Why, then, do we think that prophecies today will be so much clearer?

Some years ago, I had the privilege of writing a commentary on the book of Jeremiah, and now, after completing a commentary on Job, I’m working on a commentary on Isaiah.

Here’s one of the prophecies from Isaiah: “The oracle of Dumah. He calls to me out of Seir, ‘Watchman, how far gone is the night? Watchman, how far gone is the night?’ The watchman says, ‘The morning comes and also the night. If you would inquire, inquire; return again'” (Isa. 21:11-12).

Is that clear? Would you like to tell me exactly what it means?

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Charisma News

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