WHEN REALITY CONTRADICTS PROPHECY

Human comprehension of spiritual reality is sometimes at odds with that reality, which does not eliminate the reality.  Sometimes what God assures is not what we see.  In fact, what He assures sometimes seems to run so counter to common sense that we are forced to wonder if we were not being fooled.  

In Joshua 6:1-2, for instance, we read, “Jericho was tightly shut up,” and that was especially “because of the Israelites.”  Meanwhile God had assured Joshua and his nation thus: “See, I HAVE delivered Jericho into your hands” (New International Version).  What was Joshua supposed to ‘see’?  A Jericho with the gates tightly shut against him or a Jericho with the gates wide open to herald him in?  If God said “I have…” (not “I will…”); if God spoke with such finality, how come that what Joshua and his people could see with their common-sense eyes was contrary to what God was asking them to “see” – with what kind of eyes?

When it seemed very unlikely, “then” was when God said that He had accomplished it.  He could have given that assurance when things didn’t seem so ‘practically’ unlikely.  Are there eyes that everybody does not possess?  Is there a realm of reality that everyone does not access?

Whoever had brought that prophecy to Joshua (If someone did), it certainly didn’t make common sense at the time, because it was hardly supported by ‘the facts on ground.’  What the prophecy said should be done was exactly what Joshua had been doing: seeing … unless God meant a different kind of uncommon eyes.

When reality seems to contradict verified prophecy, it is still safe to stand with prophecy – and stand with God.  God’s assurance is firmer than ‘reality,’ and things are not always what they seem.  When God says “See…” He doesn’t usually mean the eyes with which we read mainstream newspaper headlines.

Spiritual realities do not always seem so to natural eyes.  That was where Abram missed it and birthed an alternative which from ancient times has been the distress of the promised seed.  “Maybe it is God” does not mean that it is God.  Ishmael might seem a cheaper and quicker way to the Promise, but it never leads there.  Ishmael is often the crisis of Egypt-oriented wearied eyes that see Hagar when God is showing an Isaac.

“See, I HAVE delivered Jericho into your hands,” God said.  What anyone does with what is in their hands is a different matter, and God might not be to blame.  And if someone is also unable to see what God shows, their defective vision might be to blame, not God.

A prophecy could be delayed, aborted, or diverted if not appropriately midwifed by those to whom it is sent (Luke 19:41-44; Lamentation 5:20; 1 Samuel 2:30; 13:13-14; Acts 13:46; 2 Peter 3:4; Jonah 3:10).  However, when ‘verifiable’ reality seems distressingly at variance with verified Promise, we might not be seeing with the eyes of God.

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things … (Psalm 119:18).

And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw … (2 Kings 6:17).

From The Preacher’s diary,
May 9, 2022. 

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