“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.