So what exactly is a biblical prophecy?
A biblical prophecy is when God reveals something that will happen, or something He will do before it happens. It is not predicting the future because predictions are guesses. A prophecy is something that will happen. God may or may not say when it will happen but we can be sure that it will happen sometime.
When thinking about Christmas and the birth of Jesus, there are many prophecies that come to pass. That means there are things written in the Old Testament that point to events that happen hundreds of years later when Jesus was born. Matthew Chapter 2 shows us several Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled.
When the people were writing the Bible, and God spoke to them, they wrote down what God said. Sometimes God told them what would happen someday, or something to watch for. The star is one of those things that He said would appear, and it would lead people to Jesus when he was born.
The wise men, studied the Bible and watched for that star to appear. They knew that God would someday send that star to lead people to Jesus. They were watching and waiting, and they were lucky enough to be a part of a generation who saw Jesus as a man.
“I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob;
a scepter will rise out of Israel.
He will crush the foreheads of Moab,
As people studied the Old Testament, they knew from a verse from the Prophet Micah that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. Did they know when? No, they had no idea when, but they knew at some point, Bethlehem would be the city.
When the Wise Men were following the Star, they went to Herod in Jerusalem and asked where the King could be found.
Harod didn’t know, so he called together the priests and teachers of the Law, and they read this above verse from Micah. So they knew Bethlehem would be the place.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,Micah 5:2
though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
Later in the Book of Matthew we are told that an angel came to Joseph and told him to leave Egypt to go to Israel.
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”Matthew 2:14-15
Taking Jesus to Israel was a fulfilment of Hosea 1:1
“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.Hosea 1:1
Some think that people get lucky when a prophecy is fulfilled. If it is something God said, there is no luck at all, but not everyone believes that.
One prophecy coming true could be considered luck. Even two or three possibly. But when thinking about all the prophecies in the Bible that we have seen fulfilled, the possibility of them happening by coincidence is very small.
In fact, from a statical standpoint, the probability that only 8 prophecies are fulfilled by the same person is one in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Then think that there are hundreds of prophecies that point to Jesus.
Think of it this way. Imagine the soccer field or baseball field at your school. It is probably a pretty big area. Or maybe the last park you visited. Remember how much grass there was?
The chance that all the prophecies that were fufilled at Christmas time were all coincidence is kind of like this. Suppose you were to go to that big field at school (or wherever you imagined). Take all the time you want, but somewhere in that field choose a piece of grass and dab a small dot of paint on it. It doesn’t matter the color, because you are just marking your choice for a blade of grass in that field.
Now imagine leaving the field and going to meet it’s your friend. Blindfold your friend so they can’t see anything, and lead them to the edge of the field. Tell them about the blade of grass somewhere in the field that you marked with the paint. Ask them to walk out into that field, blindfolded, and find that blade of grass with a single choice.
Seems pretty impossible, right?
Well it is. It is kind of like the prophecies being fulfilled by chance. It is impossible that they were all fufilled by chance.
There is no chance involved though, because God is the one behind the prophecies. He knows what will happen before it happens. God knows everything. He is omniscient.
The biblical prophecies were not guesses or predictions. They were God’s way to tell us about things that would someday happen. There are many many prophecies that have been fulfilled, and there are many that have not been fulfilled. Because they are God’s words, and because we have seen so many prophecies fulfilled through the Bible, we can trust that the rest of them will happen someday.
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