Musings of a Christian Geek about the Word, Geek Culture, Science, Music, Movies, and anything that is deemed noteworthy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Who Is Your Daddy And What Does He Do? Part 3

Originally published at the Christian Apologetics Alliance
Here is Part 1
Here is Part 2

The proof of whether God knows the future or not is further illustrated by the number of very specific prophecies God laid down in the Old Testament in the years preceding Christ’s birth. Daniel is chock full of these specific. Daniel 2 tells us a story about one of the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and the interpretation of the dream given by Daniel. This particular dream contained a vision of a great statue with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet made of a mixture of clay and iron. After this image manifested, a huge stone crushed the feet and all the metals in the statue fell to the ground and were disintegrated to the point of nothingness. Then the stone became a huge mountain. God gave Daniel the interpretation of this dream starting in verse 36:
This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.

This dream turned out to be a very specific prophecy about the coming empires (Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome) which would follow Babylon in ruling order until the end of days. How can God not know the future if He put forth a prophecy as specific as this? Still not convinced, well, there are many other specific prophecies God has laid out. Another example mentioned in Daniel, while Babylon still reigned, is outlined in Daniel 8:20-22 about the following empires. “The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king.  As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.” We now know through history that the Persians conquered the Babylonians and, in turn, the Greeks under one king, Alexander the Great, conquered the Persians. These are just two of many examples of God knowing the future and what will happen.

The third truth outlined in 2 Peter is that God has tremendous mercy toward the human race. He wants all men to become saved and come to Him through believing in Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:9 can be considered a parallel to 1Timothy 2:3-4, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” You can consider these verses as somewhat of a sequel to the most famous verse of all, John 3:16. Come on, we can all recite this verse in our sleep. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believes on Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

These verses show us a trait of God which seems to be a trait which God wants us to really know about Him. This trait involves God’s love toward us. Many verses have already outlined God’s love in this study but why not visit a few more. 1 John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” Right in the verse we see the phrase God is love. Take a look at another important word in the last verse, “believed.” There are many verses which equate “love” and “believe.” John 3:16 is one verse which equates the two words. John 16:27. “For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” This is another passage in the Word where we see the words “believe” and “love” in the same passage. This is obviously not a coincidence.

Why do these two repeat together in so many verses? The answer is simple. God considers belief in His Son Jesus Christ very important and loves anyone who loves His Son. 1 John 5:1, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.” One of the most important actions of God’s love is manifested in the death of His Son Jesus Christ. God had to sacrifice His own Son so that every sinful man has a chance at redemption. Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”