Blogging the Institutes–1.8.9–Moses and the Prophets Preserved

“Blogging the Institutes” is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin’s work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List.

Moses and the Prophets Preserved

Some people criticize divine truth. One question they raise is, “How do we know that Moses and the prophets actually wrote the books of the Bible which bear their names?” They will even go further and question whether Moses actually existed. If someone questioned the existence of Plato or Aristotle, wouldn’t we ridicule them? God preserved the Law of Moses. Although the Law was briefly lost, it was found by King Josiah (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chronicles 34:15). It has been subsequently transmitted in unbroken lineage down through the generations. In fact, when Josiah found it, it wasn’t treated as an entirely new thing. But it was treated as an extremely influential book which everyone knew about, and eventually it’s contents were adequately remembered. The original manuscript has been deposited in the temple, and a copy of that manuscript had been deposited in the royal archives (Deuteronomy 17:18-19). The only thing which happened to it was that the priests had stopped publishing copies of the Law and the people neglected to read it. Scarcely a time period has passed, however, that it’s authority was not confirmed and renewed. Were the books of Moses unknown to those who had a copy of the Book of Psalms? The books of Moses and the prophets were passed down through the centuries in an unbroken series from the Israelite ancestors.

Blogging the Institutes–1.8.8–The Prophetic Writings Confirm God’s Word

“Blogging the Institutes” is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin’s work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List


The Prophetic Writings Confirm God’s Word

The prophets present even clearer evidence that the Scriptures come from God. Let’s look at a few examples. Although Isaiah lived at a time when Israel was at peace, he prophesied of a day when Jerusalem would be destroyed and the people would be exiled (Isaiah 55:1). His prophecy was made hundreds of years before the actual events. Furthermore, who could have predicted that Israel’s fortunes would have turned so drastically? Not only did Isaiah predict Israel’s exile, but also her return to the land. How could these things come from anywhere else but God? Isaiah also names Cyrus in his prophecy. Cyrus conquered the Babylonians and allowed the people of Israel to return to their homeland. Isaiah prophesied about all of these things more than hundred years before it actually happened. It would have been impossible to predict that someone like Cyrus would arise and make war on the Babylonians, defeat them, and then allow Israel to return to the land. Doesn’t this prophecy prove that the words Isaiah spoke were not merely the words of men, but more importantly, the oracle of God?

Jeremiah is another example. He prophesied that the years of Israel’s captivity would be 70 and then they would be liberated. And that is exactly what happened. It would be an outrage to deny the authority of the prophetic word in light of these fulfilled prophesies. “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9). I haven’t gotten into how Jeremiah and Ezekiel harmonize together. Even though they lived far apart, both Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied at around the same time. Their words fit together as if they dictated the words to one another. Daniel also prophesied. Daniel delivered prophesies about a period almost 600 years in the future, as if he had been writings about events which already happened (Daniel 9-12).

If we as Christian meditate on these things, we will have the knowledge necessary to silence the arguments of ungodly.

 

Blogging the Institutes–1.8.7–Moses’ Prophecies were Fulfilled

“Blogging the Institutes” is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin’s work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List

Moses’ Prophecies were Fulfilled

Moses was definitely guided by prophetic spirit when he assigned the tribe of Judah to the place of preeminence within Israel. Let’s suppose that Moses made up this prophecy. Now, four hundred pass by after Moses would have committed this “prophecy” to writing. In those intervening years, there was no mention of a king arising from the tribe of Judah. After Saul is anointed king, it seems that the kings would come from the tribe of Benjamin (1 Samuel 1:15; 16:13). When Davis is anointed by Samuel, was there any grounds for shifting the kingdom away from the tribe of Benjamin? Who would have ever thought that a king could come from the family of sheepherders. Furthermore, out of seven older brothers, who would have thought that the youngest and scrawniest son would be selected to be king? How did David come within reach of the throne? Was his anointing to be skill due to human ingenuity, skill or wisdom? Or did come through the fulfillment of prophecy?

In a similar way, don’t also the predictions that the Gentiles would be grafted into the covenant, even though they weren’t fulfilled until two thousand years later, also show that Moses spoke through the agency of the Holy Spirit? Furthermore, Moses’ song found in Deuteronomy 32 also prophecies things which come to pass.