Your Future—Can It Be Predicted?
HOW far would you have to travel to find someone who would attempt to predict your future? Possibly right in your own community there are many such persons.
However, in spite of the ready availability of tea-leaf readers, palmists, astrologers and other types of fortune-tellers, most people do not seek out their predictions. Why?
For one thing, fortune-tellers are so often incorrect. And when they do claim accuracy, often their predictions are so vague and ambiguous as to permit application to just about any event.
Similar were the predictions from ancient pagan oracles. Greek writer Lucian says of a certain foreteller of events: “He delivered oracles, and gave divine responses, but with great prudence, and giving perplexed, doubtful, or obscure answers, according to the custom of oracles.”
At times such oracles gave answers that could be understood in exactly opposite ways. For example, Pyrrhus, king of Epirus in northwestern Greece, received an answer that could be understood in either of the following two ways:
1. “I say that thou son of Æacus canst conquer the Romans. Thou shalt go, thou shalt return, never shalt thou perish in war.”
2. “I say that the Romans can conquer thee, son of Æacus. Thou shalt go, thou shalt never return, thou shalt perish in war.”
Understanding the oracle in the former way, Pyrrhus waged war with Rome. He went down in defeat.
Even when predictions of fortune-tellers are more specific and actually come true, they usually focus on matters of little importance. For example, a woman who developed ability at prediction through use of Tarot cards declares: “Most of what I read was trivia. The maid’s brother would go into the army, a neighbor would have a baby . . . none of it very important.”
PREDICTIONS THAT ARE DIFFERENT
Does this suggest that there is no way for you to gain advance knowledge of important coming events? To the contrary, dependable predictions, wholly different from the type mentioned above, are available. They are found in the Holy Bible.
Simply open the Bible to the prophetic books, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, and you will find predictions that are truly different. Rather than treating of trivialities in the lives of individuals, time and again Bible prophecies predict the future of entire nations. The rise and fall of empires, and their characteristics, along with specific details about their relations with God’s own people, are set forth—and much of this centuries in advance.
Also, unlike predictions of fortunetellers that bear no relationship to one another, all the Bible’s prophecies are interrelated. For example, the Scriptures state: “The bearing witness to Jesus is what inspires [literally, the spirit of] prophesying.” (Rev. 19:10) All Bible prophecies center around the role of Jesus Christ as Abraham’s “seed,” or offspring, for the blessing of “all nations of the earth.”—Gen. 3:15; 12:1-3; 22:18; Gal. 3:16.
Moreover, Bible prophets delivered moral messages of the highest value. They boldly reproved kings and high officials for breaches of God’s law, often putting their lives in danger by doing so.
Most impressively, however, Biblical predictions stand out as being truly different because of their fulfillment, even to the smallest of details. And they describe future events that will involve you, personally. We will consider some examples in the next two articles.