1 Kings 16-18 Luke 22:47-71
“Then the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. And Peter remembered what the Lord had said: ‘Before the rooster crows this day, you will say three times that you don’t know me.’” (Luke 22:61 NCV)
Many look at prophecy and get excited about what’s happening in this world. “It’s the fulfillment of prophecy!” is often the excited squeal as if fulfilling prophecy is automatically good. In the Old Testament reading for today, the prophecy was that the family of a certain king of Israel would be wiped out because of the evil actions of the king. Then, the same prophecy is made of the man who wiped out the family line of that evil leader, because of how evil he was as he fulfilled that prophecy. It was prophesied that the Messiah would be betrayed and die, yet no one cuts Judas any slack for helping fulfill that prophecy. Then, in perhaps the shortest time ever for prophetic fulfillment, Peter fulfilled the prophecy Jesus made at dinner in less than twelve hours and denied Jesus for the third time. Peter was forgiven and restored, but only because of the grace and forgiveness of Christ.
Given the fate of many who’ve fulfilled prophecy in the past, it’s strange that some would, seemingly, act to fulfill prophecy. There’s a joke among writers that you can have your character do practically anything by meeting resistance to their actions with the phrase “As the prophecy foretold.” Instead of seeking to fulfill prophecy, we should do those things that allow us to live quiet and peaceful lives. (Cf. 1 Timothy 2:2) Don’t worry about trying to fulfill prophecy, instead seek to live in obedience to God. Care for people. Feed the hungry. Visit those who are in prison or sick. Clothe those in need of clothes. Pray for those in authority – whether you agree with them or not. And if, by some quirk in God’s design, you’ve been chosen to fulfill a prophecy, then act like Peter did and seek God’s grace and forgiveness so that you may be an example of God’s love to others.
Lord, we’ve heard about many things that will happen in the future. Help me to trust the future to You. Help me to live in obedience to You each day, while depending on Your grace and forgiveness when I fail.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.