Summary: The message of the prophets show us: 1. God has a plan. 2. God has a hopeful plan. 3. God has a complete plan.
A little over two years ago, on March 26, 2000, Seattle’s famed Kingdome was demolished. It was the home of the Seattle Seahawks, Mariners, and at times, the SuperSonics. But a Maryland-based company called Controlled Demolition Incorporated (CDI) was hired to do the job of imploding the 25,000 ton structure that had marked Seattle’s skyline for two dozen years. What is remarkable about the event was the olympian efforts that were exerted to make sure no one was injured by the impending blast. CDI had completed over 7,000 demolitions prior to taking down the Kingdome, and was experienced in knowing how to protect people. Engineers checked and rechecked the structure, the wiring and the explosive charges. Several blocks around the Kingdome were evacuated. An elaborate plan was in place to allow the countdown to stop at any time if there was any concern about safety. Every person working at the site was individually accounted for by radio prior the detonation, and a powerful speaker system was used to make people aware of what was about to happen and announce the final countdown. Every precaution was taken to warn people of the imminent danger. There was no excuse for someone not knowing what was about to happen, because those in charge made everyone aware of what they were about to do.
The Bible teaches us that God always warns and informs his people of what he is about to do. He has warned us about the second coming of Christ. And the people of Jesus’ day were given more than ample information about the first coming of Christ the Messiah. The more important something is, the more God informs his people of what he is up to. The ancient prophets were aware that this is how God works, for as one of them said, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared — who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken — who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7-8).
The Old Testament is full of prophesies about God sending his Messiah into the world. In fact, when I began to go through the Bible trying to look at all of them I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume. Why did God give these messages to the prophets? Why is the Old Testament so loaded with prophesies concerning the coming of a Savior into the world? Because what God was about to do was so important he could not keep it to himself.
The presence of these Old Testament prophesies are telling us something. The first thing they tell us is: God has a plan. God knew what he was doing. Our sin did not catch God by surprise so that he was forced to figure out a new plan. He knew that we would fail and need a Savior even before he created the world. The Bible says, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:18-20).
Before time began, God had a plan. That plan was to bring his Son into the world to redeem the world and bring it back to himself. You will remember that when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to present the infant to the Lord, there was in the temple two people who seemed to understand God’s Gift without anyone telling them that this was the Christ child. The first was an old man named Simeon. The Bible says about him, “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel’” (Luke 2:25-32).
The second person was Anna, a prophetess. When she saw the child, the Bible says, “She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).