Why does God provide prophecy?
I’m a parent, so I get it that sometimes the answer to why really is because I know best and I say so. God is under no obligation to explain why He does things. But, there are times in the bible when He has chosen to share with us why, and in those we learn a lot about the attributes of God Himself. Take, John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that…” We see God’s love and His sovereignty over all things, His generosity and mercy and His sacrifice and grace. Those attributes are consistent through everything else, because God is consistent.
So, in regard to prophecy, I think there are several things we can see from our own nature and the scriptures.
First, we seek enlightenment. We hunger to know more about what is going to happen. It gives us security and predictability, it is provides expectations and comfort. When we gain this enlightenment from prophecy, we not only receive expectation and hope, but we receive assurance because God’s prophecy is reliable because God is reliable.
Second, we have been given God’s prophecy not only as a cerebral knowledge or philosophical enlightenment, but for practical application. It is evidence on which we build faith and assurance. It is promises that commit believers to a path (even to the degree of choosing to be killed rather than to deny Christ). It is to be used for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training.
Third, it is a gift from God, a delegation of His knowledge and power, but not relinquishing His knowledge or power. We have seen it so frequently in men, that we accept it as a slogan, “knowledge is power.” Wicked men have always attempted to use knowledge to build themselves up into positions of control and power over others. God has given us knowledge through prophecy that can be used for His purposes, but He has withheld knowledge that would promote wickedness. Let’s face it, if God revealed that the second coming of Christ was going to happen on a certain day, we can all imagine how men would manipulate things up to the dawn of that day for their own power and control. God’s gift of prophecy is not for man to use as a weapon against other men or as a way for us to have control or power over God – it is a gift, provided to draw us into a relationship with Him.
6. Profit, worry, lack of faith, lack of peace or contentment
Isaiah: God declared what would happen long ago, presented it, allowed others to take counsel in it. God alone.
Amos: God is a personal God who seeks to reveal Himself and His actions to man through the prophets
2 Tim: Scripture is not just for knowledge but for practical application
Hebrews: Prophets did not denounce the prophecy given to them by God, they lived it out in faith and many suffered and died in that faith
1 Pete: Prophets searched trying to find the time and circumstances of the savior – their prophecy was for this time not their time
It is accurate and true, worth living by and dying for. We don’t know the timing because the timing is not the important element – the important element is that God is God and all of the stories all come back into His story.
Is/Luke: Jesus, the messiah, would be born a son, to a virgin and He would be “God with us.”
Micah/Matt: Jesus, the promised one, would be born in Bethlehem, a king and ruler of Israel
Is/Matt: Jesus would suffer, be despised and rejected. He would be fully man, a man of suffering and pain
True prophecy is entirely true, it is entirely consistent with the rest of scripture and in particular God’s attributes and God’s nature and, in its time, it is fully and completely fulfilled
It is evidence that speaks to the reliability of God and God’s word. Because God and His Word are important, prophecy is important because it is God’s word. We should not ignore any part of God’s word.