Thursday, September 18, 2014
September 18 – God’s Word: no guessing game
First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21 HCSB)
How many times have people tried to disagree with clearly stated principles in the Bible with the response, “Well, that’s just your opinion,” when you know they just want to disregard the Word completely? The Bible is alive with God’s Spirit speaking through it to anyone who is willing to listen. Obviously we can always benefit from studying it more, seeing it through different angles and learning how to apply it throughout all the various situations we find ourselves in. But trying to twist the Word of God to say what we want it to, and forcing it to fit the lifestyle that we prefer is what Peter means when he says that prophecy doesn’t come by the will of men or our own interpretation.
Peter is talking in this chapter about the prophecies in the Old Testament that were looking forward to the coming of Jesus, hundreds of years later. He wants us to understand that prophecies weren’t just wishful thinking or the guessing game of a few spiritual men, but thoroughly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and true word for word. In fact if you compare prophecies of what the Messiah would be like to what actually happened when Jesus came into the world, you can see that every word was fulfilled by Him in the way He lived His life.
Some people complain that we take the Word of God too seriously, that God’s promises were meant just for specific people at specific times, but not for us to believe in today. If that were true, the Bible would be a boring reference book filled with useless information. That completely contradicts what Peter is saying here. Every prophecy was spoken by the moving of the Holy Spirit, and meant to stand the test of time from generation to generation. What God promised to Abraham, He promises to us as long as we live in a covenant with Him. The battles and victories of the Old Testament are meant for us to embrace as promises for ourselves today. Some prophecies in the Bible do refer to a specific nation, but then at a deeper look, they are also speaking of the Messiah who would only come centuries later. The Word of God is layered with meaning that is meant for us to believe in, in a very personal way.
God is so intricate and great that He can speak a word to an ancient king, and also be speaking to each of us in our own towns and cities around the world in the 21st century at the same time. Decide not to view God’s promises as part of a mere history lesson, but take them for yourself. He placed them in His book to be used so that He could be proven faithful to His promises no matter when or where.