In the book of Isaiah the Lord challenges idol worshipers by asking which idol has been able to tell the future.
“Let the people bring their idols and tell us what is going to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come in the future, so we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; those who choose you are an abomination.” Isaiah 41:22-24
God knows the future and revealed it through his prophets many times over.
In Isaiah God revealed that a man named Cyrus would come and, although not a God worshipper, would fulfil God’s plans.
“This is what the Lord says to Cyrus His anointed, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him, to disarm kings, to open the doors before him, so that the gates will not be shut” Isaiah 45:1
Isaiah prophesied before Israel was taken captive by Babylon, warning the people and promising a glorious future. At the end of that 70 year exile it was King Cyrus who decreed that the Jews could return to their land, a century after Isaiah prophesied about Cyrus being used by God. (See Ezra 1 for the proclamation by Cyrus)
Prophecy confirms to us that God knows the future. God is eternal, not only because He has no end, but because He is outside of time, and exists in all places and all times simultaneously. God knows the future as surely as He knows the present and the past.
We are locked into a time prison where every passing second is truly passed and every future moment is unreachable until it arrives for its fleeting presence. While we can’t escape time, God is able to roam through time in an instant, past, present and future.
That is why it can be said of God that He is the same “yesterday, today and forever”.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“I am the Lord. I do not change. Therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6
You are wonderfully safe in God’s hands, because nothing will ever take Him by surprise. He knows every situation and challenge that is yet to surprise you. He knows your reactions in advance and He provides all you need before ever you need it.
You can safely rely on God and God’s Word.
God can also guide you safely through difficult situations, or protect you from dangers that are not obvious yet.
You may be on a path that looks perfect, expecting it to take you where you want to go. But you can’t see the future and you don’t know what changes there will be that will completely turn things around. God knows all of that in advance because God Knows the Future.
There is a story about a Chinese farmer last century whose crop was destroyed by a storm. All his friends consoled him on his bad fortune, but he said the situation may be good or bad. He remained non-committal. He had to plant a different crop and it turned out to be very valuable. His friends congratulated him, but he said his good harvest may turn out good or bad. He remained non-committal.
He bought a tractor with his profits and his friends congratulated him, but he remained non-committal. Then his teenage son had an accident with the tractor and broke his leg. The friends consoled him but again he said, “It may be good. It may be bad.” The communist revolutionary army came through soon after and grabbed every able bodied young man to fight, but the youth with the broken leg was left behind.
That’s just a story and there may be many variations, but it points to the fact that we do not know what is coming around the corner, so we have to trust God in everything.
More than that, we can be led by the Holy Spirit, ignoring our own understanding, and find that our Good Shepherd leads us much better than we could lead ourselves.
The story is told of a Christian businessman (and I have no idea who it was and can’t verify the story) who was interviewed about his amazing success in picking wise investments time and time again. He allegedly showed the interviewer his prayer room, explaining he would not do a deal until he felt God’s approval.
He said he often had to pass up deals he was sure would succeed, because he had no confirmation to go ahead. Other times he would pray about an offer he was keen to reject, only to find God prompting him to invest. So his wonderful success happened despite his own ideas, because he was being led by the Lord, not his own instincts.
God Knows the Future, and He is well able to lead you safely for the rest of your life, if you will only allow Him to do that. So start by committing everything to God, putting aside your own smart ideas and seeking to be led by the Holy Spirit.
“Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the mature sons of God.” Romans 8:14
Trust God for wonderful outcomes, since God Knows the Future.