Interpreting Prophecy; April 10, 2018


Amos 9:11 “In that day I will restore
David’s fallen tent.
I will repair its broken places,
restore its ruins,
and build it as it used to be.”

I have heard messages that said that “David’s tent,’ referenced here, is the one he set up for the Ark of the Covenant, even though those who heard this prophecy at the time probably assumed Amos was talking about the royal dynasty. That interpretation strikes a chord in me, and not just because it is referenced in the song, Days of Elijah. At the time this prophecy was delivered, Davidic kings still reigned over the southern kingdom of Judah. (Amos prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel.) If anyone really thought about it at the time, they probably assumed it meant the nation would again be united under one king. However, the sort of worship and closeness to God that was enjoyed while the Ark was available to everyone was not restored until the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. There are numbers of things about prophecy, both that recorded in the Bible and that delivered later, even today, that we need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand correctly. Wrong assumptions can lead to all sorts of errors! What complicates it even more is the fact that often quite different interpretations are actually both correct, in different ways. After all, God’s people are indeed united under one Descendant of David, Jesus the Messiah, so that interpretation of this verse is not wrong. In terms of prophecies since the Bible, we have the added factor of weeding out false prophecy. As Paul said, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21) There are indeed valid prophecies given even today, but not everyone who says, “Thus sayeth the Lord,” is speaking for God.

This is an issue for every believer, but particularly for those who, like me, have been used to deliver prophecies. I can say with assurance that sometimes even the one speaking the prophecy doesn’t really know what it means! One of the more demonstrably supernatural prophecies I’ve delivered was later fulfilled in a way that I wouldn’t have imagined at the time I spoke it. Humility is always called for! Actually, this is why we need to pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance every time we read the Bible. All sorts of errors, to the point of cults, have come from people misreading the Bible in one way or another. Sometimes the translation itself is wrong or misleading, such as in changes in language use from the time of King James to today, and sadly, sometimes the translators have an agenda to make it say what they want it to. I have heard of people who have gotten genuinely saved from reading a Jehovah’s Witness Bible, but that is just proof that the Holy Spirit is stronger than the devil! The point for me is to walk in step with the Spirit at all times, in all humility. (Galatians 5:25)

Father, thank You for this reminder. You have given us some pretty remarkable prophecies in the past, relating specifically to Omura. Keep me from insisting on what they must mean, but rather allow You to bring them to fruition in Your way on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
This entry was posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Interpreting Prophecy; April 10, 2018

  1. A good word of instruction here.

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