Today’s pundits are often amusing. They predict everything from the scores in basketball games to who will win the next election. They argue their choices and convince sponsors to pay air time for their discussions. Sometimes they hit the target, but mostly not. Most of the time, modern seers are simply gambling!
It would be interesting if our society went back to the Old Testament test for a true prophet: everything he predicted must come true. One hundred percent. Otherwise they were considered false, not speaking for God, and sometimes put to death. The standard is high!
That the Old Testament has hundreds of prophecies that have already come true is rather amazing and one of the convincing arguments for the inspiration of Scripture. Who can know the future but God? Who can convey future events to mere humans but the Spirit of God? No guessing allowed.
Today’s devotional has references to prophecy from the Old Testament. Jesus was with two disciples after His resurrection. At first, they did not recognize Him, but when they did, He took them into a Bible study . . .
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.'” (Luke 24:45–49)
The OT prophets wrote of Jesus coming to earth (even saying He would be born in Bethlehem) and that He would suffer and die for our sin and rise from the dead on the third day. They also wrote that this good news would be shared with the world. All of that came true — how wonderful!
God also spoke through them about a promise, a power that would give them all that is needed to be His witnesses . . .
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” (Joel 2:28–29)
Joel was written several hundred years before this promise was fulfilled, but like all biblical prophecies, it came true. The Spirit is here. He comes in dreams and visions and with the power needed to live as God wants His people to live.
Jesus, I’ve lots of reasons to be excited today, but this reality gives me overwhelming joy and hope. Like those early disciples, I am an ordinary person, yet God pours His Spirit out that I might have all I need to do all that He wants me to do. No excuses. No fears. Yesterday, a surgical procedure occurred that makes me part human and part computer (no kidding), but when You saved me, something more amazing happened; You gave me Yourself and a oneness with You that surpasses anything any heart surgeon can do. My computer-driven heart can fail, but through the power of the Holy Spirit You have given me life — a never-ending life that does not depend on electronics or batteries.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)