Jottings About the Bible: Prophecy a Proof of the Divine Origin of Scripture

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 13
AS miracle is the intervention of God’s grace in act, prophecy is the intervention of God’s grace in testimony. Both appear on the background of man’s failure: both are intended by the Divine wisdom, which educates His children and rules the world, as a help and consolation to the flock, and the hardening of the wicked.
But prophecy—and this is our chief point here—is a proof of the Divine origin of Scripture. Its force is, unlike that of a miracle, not dependent on the credibility of testimony. It is its own evidence. It is fulfilled before the eyes of the world. The Jews, Tyre, Babylon, Nineveh, demonstrate to all who have eyes to see that we have a sure word of prophecy, and that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken. The words of the prophets find their best explanation in the actual condition of the nations and lands of which they spake: and all men may see it, that the Lord God, who alone can see the end from the beginning, hath revealed these things to His servants the prophets.
Dr. Keith says:— “All the nations which in ancient times were the enemies of Israel have been utterly destroyed, the Arabs excepted, who still dwell in the presence of their brethren. The Jews have been scattered over all nations, are yet dispersed in all countries, and distant from every people. Judea, Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Phalestis bear their brand in every feature. A plain, whereon fishermen spread their nets, is the prophetic representative of princely Tyre. . . . The chief city of Ammon is a stable for camels, that of Moab is a ruinous heap: the temples of Petra are courts for owls, and the word of the Lord against the capital of Edom is written with a pen of iron on the rock for ever. Babylon the Great has been converted into heaps. . . . The spirit of prophecy, which gave forth the anticipated history of the world, and which pointed to cities in their utmost desolation, while they yet blazoned in all the pride of their power, has never been known to lie: and predicted judgments have been fulfilled to the very letter, till the truth of every jot and tittle has been confirmed by its effect.”
The most striking fulfilment of prophecy is seen in the existence of the Jewish nation. Forty centuries have run their course since the first promise of the nation was given unto Abram. As Balaam predicted, the people dwell alone, and are not reckoned among the nations. While the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Romans—the mightiest nations the world ever saw—have disappeared, Israel lives, and has survived all the fearful calamities and persecutions which came upon them. Driven from their own land, dispersed among the nations, for centuries denied the privilege of possessing land, subjected to insult, robbery, and persecutions of the greatest cruelty, they still exist—numerous, energetic, in vigor of body and mind, mysterious alike in their preservation as in their isolated position.
In the midst of the numerous changes which have occurred in the history of nations, Israel is the historical nation, “a nation scattered and peeled,” it is true, and yet her people are even now a witness of the sacred history recorded in Scripture, a pledge of the fulfilment of a yet greater and more glorious theocracy. And when the metaphysical subtleties, as well as the refined secularism of our age, turn with aversion from all direct interference of God, whether in the past, as recorded in the history, or in the future, as recorded in the prophecy of Scripture, the Jews are a living sign and irrefutable evidence of the truth of the Bible. Miracle and prophecy find in them their living monuments.
No wonder that the greatest philosopher of our age (Hegel) felt the Jewish history a dark and perplexing enigma. It is the miracle of history as it is the history of miracle: its exposition is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel.
A living God, as distinguished from idols, whether the idols of heathenism or the idol of the abstract god of philosophy, appeals to this as one of His attributes, that He revealeth future things. “Bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth and show us what shall happen: show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods.” And again, “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa. 41:21-23: 45:18-21: 48:5, 14-16). Even the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, a heathen, exclaimed, “Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.”
BY-AND-BY, Jesus, who died for us, the Lamb, and with God, will be the light of glory. How happy to have followed Him in this dark world, and to see Him shine in glory— our beloved Saviour, the Lamb who was slain for us.