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by Dwight Burgess
Tim, first of all, I’d like to commend you for what I think was a great response to the questions concerning Israel (Thoughts on Modern Israel
). I did not feel your comments were half baked at all and the question you posed did stir a few of the following random thoughts.
I think our first clue to your question is found in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, before the fall, were in as perfect a state of mind as anyone could possibly be. They did not even have the knowledge of good or evil. (There was no way for them to yet know that Israel would always be the apple of God’s eye and that the Palestinians were such an evil lot. Smile) If anyone could have the confidence to undertake a plan and know that it was God’s will it should have been them. Yet we all know what happened.
As I pondered your question, the first instance I could think of where man attempted to bring about a promise of God was when Abraham and Sarah grew impatient waiting for God to give them the promised child. I find it more than a little interesting that the result of their “helping to fulfill God’s promise” resulted in the very people who are today committed to wiping the nation of Israel off the face of the earth.
Although the Jewish leaders did not claim to be bringing about prophecy, it’s very clear that they thought they were doing the will of God when they crucified Jesus. I think this is something to consider very solemnly anytime people profess to be saying or doing things in the name of God.
Over and over in the New Testament we see statements such as “now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled…”. It always seems to be after the fact of the fulfillment when it becomes apparent that this was what had been foretold. Other than for Jesus himself, I see no situation where man was fully aware ahead of time that they were being used to bring about God’s prophecy, much less taking an active part in planning for the event.
Finally, I think the real key to all this is what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 where he said “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. In other words, all fulfillment is in Christ, not man. God may use man to bring about his will, but when it comes to prophecy the fulfillment itself is in Christ alone. That is why I believe all prophecy was completed in the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and return of Jesus in AD 70 where he made it clear once and for all who were the true sons of God. It is those who are “in Christ” alone, by faith alone.