May 6, 2018

Prophecy by Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:06 am by sranderson0103

Translations are human efforts to communicate the inspired words of scripture in another language. None are perfect. Most are useful, some very, others not so much. There are some obvious problems with the Septuagint translation (Hebrew to Greek) in some places, though Jesus apparently found it useful enough to use in most of His quotations. Likewise, the New Living Translation, 2nd edition, has problems in some areas, but is exceptionally useful in others. Consider it’s clear and powerful rendering of Isaiah’s confrontation of idolaters, contrasting blind idols with the true God who sees all, past, present and future.

“Present the case for your idols,” says the LORD. “Let them show what they can do,” says the King of Israel. “Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves.” (Isaiah 41:21-23 NLT)

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens.” (Isaiah 46:9-10 NLT)

When I read such passages, the words of pompous seminary professors echo in my ears, those “main-line” denominational instructors who condescendingly ridicule “ignorant fundamentalist” for using fulfilled prophecy as evidence for faith. If consistent, they would have to add Isaiah to that group. He made it unmistakably clear that he believed prophecy was powerful evidence for faith in the Almighty.

He devoutly believed this, even though he didn’t understand it all. Peter tells us that the prophets tried, but just didn’t have enough information to answer many of their questions. But now, we do!

“This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.…” (I Peter 1:10-12)

Peter is telling us about Old Testament prophecy and while doing so, he too, answers modern “scholars” who scoff at the divine authorship of Scripture.

Much prophecy was devoted to the theme of “Christ’s sufferings” and the “great glory afterward” long before the events took place. Isaiah wrote about both the glory (chapter 11) and the sufferings (chapter 53) with no indication that he knew

how to put the two together. Peter said “the prophets wanted to know more.” “They wondered what time or situation…” They yearned for the glory, such as Solomon displayed; but sufferings? They spoke plainly about it, but how did that fit in this divine picture? Christians now know, but they were mystified.

These factors make it unmistakable that the prophets spoke what they spoke “from the power of the Holy Spirit.” They had divine knowledge of the future, but that knowledge did not come from themselves. It was and wasn’t even intended for them. It was for us!

Now, it all fits together. It was not a human plan. It was from the God who was nothing like blind idols, but from the Almighty God who could see past, present and future. He is the one who has divinely devised and divinely revealed His infinite wisdom, to us. We have been blessed with consummation of God’s plan for the ages. Let us respond in awe, in reverence and humble submission to the Word of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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