Let me ask you a question. If I see one of my kids holding their marshmallow too close to the fire in the fire pit, and I say to them ‘Be careful or you will burn it to a crisp!’ – and it happens exactly as I said, is that a prediction or just common sense?
The dictionary definition of predict is to declare or tell in advance something that is going to happen.
When we talk about prediction or prophecy in the bible we are not talking about common sense. Prophecy often doesn’t make sense at the time, only when it comes to pass is it made clear to us.
The Bible is full of predictions (prophecy) used to declare to people the things that God has in store. Why does He let us in on it? Simply to reveal to us again and again that He has it all planned, to reveal His good and perfect will, and when the prophecy comes to pass, we get to marvel at His Word.
R.T Kendall reminds us that ‘God knows the end from the beginning. He knows the future as perfectly as He knows the past…..there could be no prophecy if God did not know the future-perfectly.’ In fact, one of the ‘great evidences for the infallibility of the Bible is the fact of prophecy being fulfilled.’
Throughout the Old Testament, Bible scholars say that there are more than 300 prophecies written hundreds of years beforehand recorded to predict Jesus’ coming, His journey to the cross, and the power of His Resurrection. Some of these prophecies point to the exact location, circumstances, and even timing of Christ’s birth. God is the only One who could plan those specific details and ensure they all come to pass. Let’s look at some examples.
Isaiah 7:14 fulfilled in Luke 1:35
Micah 5:2 fulfilled in Matthew 2:4-6
Exodus 12:5 fulfilled in Hebrews 9:14
Psalms 8:5-6 fulfilled Hebrews 2:5-9
Isaiah 35:5-6 fulfilled in Matthew 11:2-6
Even Paul had his arrest prophesied in Acts 21:10-14 by Agabus and we see it fulfilled later. There would be no miraculous escape like he had experienced in Acts 16. God revealed to Paul, through the Holy Spirit, that what was going to happen to him was part of God’s perfect will. Imagine the comfort and confidence Paul must have felt knowing that God knew what was going to happen and that He was in control of it all.
Holy Spirit, thank you that you live in us. Thank you that nothing takes you by surprise. You know my future, you know the plans for my life. Open my ears and eyes to the things unseen, even today. Amen