Prophecy and Predestination; July 18, 2019

Nehemiah 1:8-9 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'”

When reading Deuteronomy it is tempting to think that the words attributed to Moses were actually written by someone after the Babylonian Captivity, because they describe it so accurately. However, here we have clear evidence that Moses was a true prophet indeed, speaking and recording the words of God about things that were hundreds of years in the future, as far as Moses was concerned. We tend to forget that one thing Father God can never do is be surprised. He is outside of time, so He is aware of everything at once, from the moment He created the universe to the moment He brings it all to an end. We get tied in knots over what might happen tomorrow, when God knows what will happen throughout eternity! One of the great philosophical mysteries, as far as man is concerned, is how human free will fits into that, because if we are “fated” to do something, we should bear no responsibility for it, and the Bible clearly contradicts that way of thinking. Paul uses the term “predestined,” in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1, but that simply points out that our minds don’t grasp quantum mechanics very well. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is just words for most people, but the Bible is full of things that are “now but not yet.” We are made to be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, (2 Corinthians 5:21) but at the same time we are not yet made perfect. (Philippians 3:12-14) We are tempted to agonize over all of this, but God wants us to trust Him enough to release it all into His hands, knowing that our minds can’t comprehend it all, but He’s got it all covered.

This is an issue for every thoughtful human being. Recently I saw an article about how some Christians treat prophecy like fortune telling, and that is obviously an aberration. If we get too anxious about “what’s next,” we open ourselves up to all sorts of lying spirits. I know of a marriage that was torn apart because the wife consulted a fortune teller who told her that her husband was being unfaithful, when he wasn’t. (He wasn’t being wise, but he wasn’t yet being physically unfaithful.) The devil is only out to steal, kill, and destroy, (John 10:10) and he uses our lack of faith to do it. I’ve got to trust God fully myself, as well as speak the truth in love to those around me, so that the truth may indeed set us free from the traps of the enemy. (John 8:32) When God gives me a word of prophecy I am to be faithful to speak it as He directs, but never think that I am the one making things happen. I am to proclaim the Gospel in all strength and purity so that as many as will may receive it, for their salvation and God’s glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You also for telling me, years ago now, to rest, relax, and rejoice. Help me indeed do that, trusting You with everything and walking in faithful obedience so that Your will may be done in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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