Tag Archives: prophet

maranatha, precision, Day 22

Standard

“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘seven’s, and sixty-two ‘sevens’… After the sixty-two ‘sevens’, the Anointed one will be put to death and will have nothing. “ Dan 9.25-26

I’m not at home right now (and more importantly, I’m away from my study Bible), so I can’t go into much detail in explaining the “sevens”, but the important thing here is this: God revealed to Daniel the precise timing of the Messiah’s (the Anointed One’s) arrival. Down to the precise year.

My favorite analogy for clarifying prophecy was given to me by my Bible Professor/Pastor in Florida. A prophet is given a vision from God, and he records what he sees. If I were to stand near the top of a mountain peak and look straight ahead, I might see what looks like a singular peak, but is in fact multiple mountaintops together. From my vantage point I cannot see any of the valleys in between, merely many mountaintops in one perception. It’s a similar situation in Daniel 9. Without transition, Daniel begins by speaking of Jesus’ coming years down the road, and within the same verse starts to proclaim the end of the world (v. 26b-27).

You can get into some pretty deep holes if you spend too much time tearing apart and stapling down end times prophecies, and I don’t think that’s the ultimate point here. The point is to realize that God knows, exactly. He knew before the world was created that we would rebel and require His intervention and salvation. He knew exactly when Jesus would enter time as a man to intercede for us. And He knows precisely when this world as we know it will be finished.

“You must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3.8-9

Anticipation: Day 4, Prophets and Pruning

Standard

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot — yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.                     Isaiah 11:1-5

I’m reminded of Daniel 4, in which God gives King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonians a dream. A great tree is hacked to pieces, but the stump is protected to allow for regrowth in the proper time. God was warning Nebuchadnezzar of his coming judgement; the king was about to experience some pretty extreme humbling (that’s the hacking to pieces part), but his life would be spared, to give him the chance to repent and transform his life and kingdom.

Throughout the book of Isaiah, God gives His own people the same warning: you’re time of rebellion is coming to an end. Beware, a humbling season is just around the corner. But, with the same compassion he showed Babylon, God leaves an Israelite remnant from which the truest Life would spring forth. A man after God’s own heart, because He is God Himself.  One who obeys with delight, who emulates every aspect of His Spirit’s character, who treats His beloved creation with love and tenderness.

Through these five verses I’m reminded that my amazing God shows me the same mercy He showed Babylon, Israel and countless others before me. He desires repentance, so He prunes me back. But He always leaves a stump.