Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. -Proverbs 29:18, ESV
A prophet declares the word of the Lord. In that sense, pastors and evangelists are prophets!
But we tend to hear the word “prophetic” and think “telling the future.” There certainly is an element of this, but we must remember the the other part of prophecy: revealing what is hidden … not just the future, but in our lives.
Most importantly, prophecy reveals God’s expectations.
Therefore, a good pastor and evangelist remind people that God has set His expectation for how we are to live (summed up in the Ten Commandments, which are summed up as “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself”), and that we will one day be judged by how we have done. More specifically, we will be judged by whether or not we followed God’s Son, Jesus.
The prophetic vision we have is that God has a standard, as modeled in Jssus, and He will be coming back to the earth in judgment.
If we neglect to teach and remind this world of this, people will throw off restraint and wantonly sin, either because they see no need for a Savior (“We’re basically good!”), or because they see grace giving them license (“We can do whatever we want, because God forgives!”)
We are either going to be judged guilty by how we rejected Christ or how we defiled Christ.
Only by believing in and emulating Christ’s sacrificial work – allowing His cleansing blood to cover us with forgiveness and grace to live a life of forgiveness, grace, and love – will we be ready for His imminent return.
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I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. – Proverbs 8:23
Before we leave Proverbs chapter 8, I want us to notice one of the most glorious truths displayed in all of Scripture: the eternality of Jesus Christ.
Notice in verses 22-31 that at least six different times Wisdom is mentioned as having been with God from before the foundation of the earth. Carefully read through these verses in Proverbs while you consider the following:
- In John 1:1-2 Jesus is called the Word of God who was with God and was God.
- In John 8:58 Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”
- In John 17:24 we read where Jesus was praying to the Father and said: “My glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
- Speaking of the coming Messiah, Isaiah 9:6 calls Him “the Everlasting.”
- Micah 5:2, also speaking of the coming Messiah, said: “His goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.”
- In Hebrews 13:8 we read that Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
- In Revelation 1:11 Jesus says of Himself, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last…”
- And if it was ever a question that Jesus claimed to be God, when you compare John 8:58 and Revelation 1:11 to Isaiah 48:12, then there should be no doubt: “I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.”
Make no mistake, the parallels are too similar to deny…Jesus, the Power and Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24), is being prophetically referenced here in this chapter. As the Holy Spirit moved through the prophet David, Solomon’s father, to write Psalm 22 in anticipation of the crucifixion, so does He move through Solomon to describe the glorious, eternal nature of the Messiah, Jesus.
But there’s one more thing I want you to see… His delights are with the sons of men (Proverbs 8:31).
The Word of God made flesh…the Wisdom of God who was there before the foundation of the world…the Savior who came and dwelt among us (Emmanuel – see Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23)…
He delights to be with you and me! He literally wants to spend time with us because he loves and cares for us.
Therefore, considering what we’ve read, we should all the more take seriously the closing verse in this chapter.
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. – Proverbs 8:36
To seek Wisdom is a choice, but failing to do so can have eternal ramifications.
2 Comments | tags: David, Jesus, prophecy, proverbs, Solomon, Wisdom | posted in advice, Creation, Jesus