Biblical prophecy is so compelling, detailed, and accurate that it can be likened with history written in advance. When history and prophecy converge, they find fulfilment in Messiah and His purposes for Israel and the nations. The sheer volume and pinpoint accuracy of the scriptures helps to understand the world we live in and why we were created. The Bible is unique in that it is a text that ‘reads the reader’ since it is divinely inspired, and it discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
We sometimes speak of someone as a pioneer, or ahead of their time or even their era. The simple reality is that the God of the Bible is outside of space and time yet stepped into our time and dwelt among us. Our Creator understands us more thoroughly and comprehensively than we know ourselves since He created us in His image.
Daniel spoke in depth concerning the successive world empires ahead of his time in regard to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. He understood the seventy years allocated for Babylonian exile and the rising and falling of the empires. Isaiah spoke in advance and named Cyrus who would allow the Jewish people to return to their homeland of which the Cyrus cylinder bears witness today. Daniel foretold the rising of Alexander the Great and the division of his kingdom into four parts and spoke of the wicked acts of Antiochus Epiphanes. Daniel explained that Messiah would come and be killed before the temple was destroyed, yet David knew that Messiah would be raised from the dead.
The Lord explained to Jeremiah how even though he was reluctant to be a prophet and a mouthpiece for Him, He would set him over the nations and kingdoms, he would be used to root out and pull down, destroy and to throw down, to build and plant. It is difficult in human terms to make sense of why certain leaders rise to power and why others fall, and it may at times appear seemingly random. Yet as we trace the remarkable history and preservation of the Jewish people and consider how much attention is focussed on Jerusalem and the tiny though astonishing nation of Israel, it becomes ever so clear that the God of the Bible has designated plans and purposes, and the Bible gives direction for today and beyond.
Incredible though that was and still is, Daniel saw beyond our time and to when Messiah would return, rule and reign. How do we know that Jesus the Messiah will return? By virtue of the fact that He fulfilled prophecy concerning the location and uniqueness of His birth, that He performed many astounding miracles, never sinned, and died, rose again, and ascended to heaven. He will return again to Mount Olives in the same way that He left. The questions that are most important remain. Are you trusting and following Him, have your sins been forgiven, have you been reconciled to God, and will you be ready for when He returns?