If you happen to follow the news there is a strong probability that it regularly leaves you discouraged. It doesn’t matter if it is the weather, sports, politics or whatever. It seems like the overwhelming majority of the time it pulls us down. I have to believe that the reality of living is a part of living in a world that have been corrupted by sin. The testimony of the Bible for the believer, properly understood, lifts us up!
This past Sunday we began another section in our sermon series “Knowing the Unknown.” Our series on understanding God’s plan for the future finds us looking at the importance of God’s Covenants with Israel. This past Sunday we kicked off our series looking at how “Prophecy Really Matters” by unpacking the first prophecy in the Bible. If you are interest you can watch the sermon. There were a couple of ways that my studies in the passage hit me. Let’s take a look at a couple.
The first passage that we looked at is found in God’s expansion upon what happened on the sixth day when He created man. Genesis 2:4- 24 then details the specifics of God’s creation of Adam and Eve and establishing the first human institution, marriage. The Lord’s first prophecy is revealed after Adam’s creation. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” (Genesis 2:16–17) This conditional prophecy reminds Adam that everything is available to him except the fruit of the tree. The warning, however, is that the day that he disobeyed he would experience death. Genesis 3 records the fall of Adam and Eve, and all humanity, by disobeying God. The prophecy spoken by God did come true. Their sin actually broke everything. It created a barrier in their relationship with each other. They realized that they were naked and tried to hide their nakedness from each other. Lost was the innocent fellowship as husband and wife. They also now cowered in the presence of God, abandoning the wonderful fellowship with the creator. We also learn that they would release the sin force in their offspring and upon the physical creation. One Bible scholar wrote concerning Satan’s half promise to them, “We would know good without being able to do it, and would know evil without being able to avoid it!” (John Walrood, Prophecy Knowledge Handbook pg. 20) The appeal of Satan called into question God’s promise of good to them in Genesis 1- 2 if they would only trust and obey God.
The significance of Biblical prophecy, of this prophecy, is found in one phrase in the judgement upon the serpent. We read, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) This phrase is referred to as the protoevangelium, the first glimpse of the Gospel in human history! Satan’s attempt to destroy the Messiah, “bruise” the “seed of the woman” would only result in the “bruising” of Satan’s plan.
“Biblical Prophecy Matters” because it bathes us with hope in a broken world. A hope that is based upon the surety of God’s ability to keep His promise to those that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord. The next time you are pulled down by the news, remember all of the Biblical prophecies to date have been fulfilled, 100%. The prophecies from Genesis through Revelation encourage us to hold onto God’s promise of good to us if we will only trust and obey Him.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson