Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Prophetic Significance Defined

Prophetic Significance Defined

             There is a rhythm to life where one day bleeds into the next, becoming many days and then many years.  People are constantly entering and exiting life, becoming a part of the invisible tapestry of time.  It is during the course of life’s rhythm that God imperceptibly disturbs that rhythm by intervening in human events.  When he does move in history, it is prophetically significant and accompanied by the employment of someone or a people whose call is one of prophetic significance.  The Lord’s creation of the heavens, earth and mankind was his first prophetically significant act as it was done with a particular goal in mind and underlying rationale.  But even more prophetically significant was the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (Rev. 13:8).   So, when someone or something has a call of prophetic significance, it is a call historically situated in the coming expiration of this age. 
          We see this call demonstrated for example in the lives of Joseph, Moses and Jesus.   Someone with a  such prophetic call is instrumental in advancing God’s prophetic historical plan for the world.   Joseph for example was the eleventh son of Jacob whose name God changed to Israel.  Joseph had a dream which he wrongfully expressed to his brothers who hated him because their father favored him (Genesis 37:1-3).  His brothers sold him to Ismaelites who sold him to Potiphar an official of Pharaoh.  Although Joseph was not a free man, he prospered in Egypt and after spending sometime imprisoned, Pharaoh put him in charge of all of Egypt due to his interpreting Pharaoh’s dream. (Genesis 41:41).  At the end of the day Joseph’s dream about ruling over his brothers comes true when God causes a famine in the land and Joseph’s family goes to Egypt.  The Hebrews then end up staying in Egypt where they prospered until they were enslaved. 

         Joseph’s life was prophetically significant because God used him to fulfill the prophecy He had given to Abraham that his descendants would be slaves for four hundred years in a country not their own. (Genesis 15:13) Thus , God moved another stone in place in the building of his historical house.    He would do it again when he called Moses to deliver the Israelites from their Egyptian enslavers.  I will not go into the whole saga of Moses, but what should be observed is that Moses call to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt would be a major prophetically significant event.  During their time in Egypt the Hebrews had grown exponentially as a people so much so that a new pharaoh who did not know about Joseph decided they should be oppressively enslaved. (Exodus 1: 8-11)  The pharaoh’s intent was that the harsh slavery would curtail their numbers, but what he did not realize was that he was butting heads with God’s promise to Abraham that he would make him into a great nation. (Genesis 8:12).  So, instead of decreasing paradoxically they increased the more they were oppressed. (Ex: 1; 12). 
     The pharaoh would next turn to exterminating the Hebrews via infanticide.  He ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill every boy they delivered, but to let every girl live.  (Ex: 1,16).  If the Hebrew women had complied with Pharaoh's command, the result would have been that in a generation Hebrew women would have no Hebrew men to reproduce with resulting in either intermarriage with the Egyptians or no reproduction at all.  Either way, the Hebrew line of Israel would be extinguished.  However, the Hebrew midwives ignored his death edict, fearing God instead. (17). Once again instead of decreasing in number the Hebrews increased even more. (20).  It was during this time of constant attempts to murder Hebrew baby boys, that Moses would be born and eventually be called to lead his people in deliverance fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham that to his offspring he would give the land inhabited by the Canaanites . (Gen 12: 6,7). 
    Pharaoh may not have been aware of the prophetically significant call of the Israelites, but the principalities and powers of the air were aware of it.  They knew a time was approaching when the Lord would move his next prophetic piece in place so they in alignment with human sinfulness tried to thwart the move by killing fortuitously the one God would use for Israel’s deliverance.   Moses would eventually be successful in leading the Israelites out of Egypt but it was a journey accompanied with hiccups and frustration as any bible student would know.  But that is another story for another day.  I will next talk about the prophetic significance of Jesus in a separate post.

1 comment:

  1. In this essay, with all due respect, I must take issue with the thought that "Joseph’s life was prophetically significant because God used him to fulfill the prophecy He had given to Abraham that his descendants would be slaves for four hundred years in a country not their own." (Genesis 15:13)
    Although it is true that the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt, it was not for 400 years. In fact, through centuries of transmission, an error has been perpetrated and embedded in our understanding. Since we are all interested in accurate knowledge, I submit the following information for your investigation.
    First of all, Exodus 12:40 states that the length of time Israel was in Egypt was 430 years. Closer examination tells us this not mathematically possible. When Moses returned to Egypt he was 80 years old. (Ex.7:7) He father, Amram lived to be 137 years old. (Ex. 6:20) Amram's father, Kohath lived to be 133 years old. (Ex.6:18) He was also among the 66 people who went down into Egypt with Jacob. (Gen.46:26) To stretch the timeline as far as possible, we must assume that Kohath lived 133 years, then fathered Amram, who lived an additional 137 years and just before he died, fathered Moses, who we know returned to Egypt at 80. If we add 132 + 137+ 80 = 350 years. So, the maximum amount of time that the Israelites could have been in Egypt is 350 years.
    The Apostle Paul gives us the key to unraveling this mystery. At Gal. 3:16, 17 Paul makes the statement that from the time Abraham received the promise to the time that Moses received the Law was 430 years. Now, Abraham received the promise when he entered Canaan at 75 years of age. (Gen. 12:3, 5-7) 25 years later, at 100 Isaac was born. Then 60 years laters, when Isaac was 60 years old, Jacob was born. (Genesis 25 & 26) Then 130 years later, Jacob and all of Israel entered Egypt. Jacob of course, was 130. So, if we take 25 + 60 + 130 = 215 years from time Abraham entered the Canaan and Israel entered Egypt. Moses received the Law at Mt. Sinai 215 years later. 215 + 215 = 430 years in the land of Canaan and Egypt.
    The Greek Septuagint manuscript confirms this because it states: "And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Canaan and the land of Egypt, four hundred and thirty years." Ex. 12:40.
    The Samaritan Pentateuch manuscript says: "And the sojourning of the children of Israel and their fathers which they have dwelt in the land of Canaan and Egypt was four hundred and thirty years." Ex. 12:40
    Flavius Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews: "They left Egypt 430 years after our forefather came into Canaan, but 215 years only after Jacob removed into Egypt."
    There is a far more complete explanation on the Youtube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF0F8YjT1og Although the conclusions drawn to explain the 400 year prophecy is in error.
    As you know, we are in the "time of the end" when Daniel was told by the Most High that this is the time when true knowledge would become abundant. Let us continue to search for truth and wisdom. Peace.