The Blessed Understanding We Have Now

May 9, 2013 | Tags: ,

cross and sunsetFor I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them.

-Luke 10:24

The prophet Jeremiah had a difficult ministry, to say the least. Often called “The Weeping Prophet,” Jeremiah’s ministry extended during the time the Babylonians captured the Jews of Jerusalem, destroyed their city and their temple (586 B.C.), and carried them into exile in Babylon. He knew this judgment and destruction would come because Judah had turned away from God and trusted in worthless false gods instead. He had to proclaim the judgment that was coming, then watch it occur himself. Needless to say, the people he spoke God’s word to didn’t want to hear it. They treated him terribly, though he was telling the truth. He lamented, “Why did I come out of the womb to see only struggle and sorrow, to end my life in shame?” (Jer. 20:18).

But there was still hope in Jeremiah, knowing through the Holy Spirit that God had a bigger plan for all this disaster their nation would experience. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament looked back on what the prophets like Jeremiah experienced and said in chapter 11:32-40:

32 And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received their dead—they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. 38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.

The promise is the coming of the Savior of the World, and the resurrection into eternal life. The Old Testament saints and prophets were a part of God’s plan that unfolded and led directly to the birth of Jesus Christ. They were not going to see that promised fulfilled during their lifetimes, but they would experience the resurrection of the saints, along with us, in the end times.

Jesus saw all of it, of course, and stood beside every prophet and saint of God in the OT. He knew their longings to see Him, which is why He proclaimed to His twelve disciples during His earthly ministry, “The eyes that see the things you see are blessed! For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them” (Luke 10:23-24).

As the redeemed children of God, living in the Church Age, we are blessed to. We have been given the knowledge of God through the entire Biblical record, from Genesis to Revelation. We have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us. The others did not have these gifts. They had yet to be accomplished. We can rejoice in all we have right now. We can look back on biblical prophecy and see its fulfillment throughout history. We can see God’s faithfulness over and over again, and know that same God will be faithful in our lives as well. Rejoice today at the blessed understanding we have now, in this generation, at this time in redemption history! And don’t miss one opportunity God has given you to let others know about the blessed assurance they too can have through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

By Courtney Silberman

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