I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praises to carved images. Behold the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare
Before they spring forth I tell you of them. Isaiah 42: 8-9
Unfortunately, it has been said that “prophecy distracts people from the present.” If that be true, there is a tremendous amount of distraction in the Bible. In Bible study there is a principle that is known as the “Law of Proportion.” It is obvious, and logical. The law simply means that you can tell the importance of a subject in Scripture by how much attention is devoted to it. Consider the weight of prophetic subject in the Word.
Number of verses in the Bible….. 31, 124
Number of predictions in the Old Testament….. 1,239
Number of O.T. verses that contain predictions….. 6,641 out of 23,210
Percent of O.T. which is prophecy….. 28.5%
Number of predictions in the New Testament….. 578
Number of N.T. verse that contain predictions….. 1,711 out of 7,914
Percent of N.T. which is prophecy….. 21.5%
Percent of entire Bible which is prophecy….. 27%
Number of prophetic topics in the Bible….. 737
Consider these facts– there are 300 references to the Lord’s coming in 260 N.T. chapters; 23 of the 27 N.T. books mention the Lord’s coming; Jesus mentions His second coming at least 21 times; 1,527 O.T. passages refer to His second-coming; His second-coming is mentioned eight-times more often than His first-coming. Entire books such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation are prophetic. Jeremiah, Joel, Malachi, Matthew and both Thessalonian letters contain huge prophetic portions.
Daniel studied the prophecy of Jeremiah gaining comfort the exile was nearly over. New Testament, Simeon and Anna, were those who looked at prophecy and thererore eagerly waited for their Messiah (Luke 2). We are well served to follow their godly and wise example.
The Bible dedicates a great amount of ink regarding the future– what to expect and look forward towards. Obviously, it is very important. As we’ve discussed doctrine is critical.
It is to hold us and dictate how we are to navigate daily life. Prophecy is similar. It is not given simply to capture our imagination or attention. God has given prophecy, not only to prove the inerrancy and inspiration of His Word, but also to guide and change our attitude and direction to line up with His Word and His character during our short time on this side of Heaven.
Jesus states that prophecy proves the truth of God’s Word, and it proves who He is: “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.” One chapter later He says: “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.” Foremost may we see and look forward to Jesus more and more!