One of the wonderful abilities of our almighty, sovereign God is foretelling events that He had planned before they happen.
Isaiah has much to say about this wonder.
“For I am God, and there is no other…declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done…”
As God was revealing the future arrival of the Messiah, He stated:
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42:9
God stated that history confirmed events He foretold had come to pass. Therefore, what He was presently telling about the future Messiah could be relied on as absolute truth and fact.
Isn’t it wonderful that almighty God is transparent!
Shortly thereafter God foretold of the rescue of the Jews from Babylonian captivity that would take place in the future. He had pre-appointed the Persian King Cyrus approximately 150 years before the actual event; many years before Cyrus was even born!
“…I have even called you by your name…though you have not known Me…” Isaiah 45:4
Then God challenges any other to foretell as He has done.
“Who has declared this from ancient time? …Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me…” Isaiah 45:21
As God reminded Israel of His past foretelling, He also tells them to have confidence in what He was about to reveal.
“Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you…I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now…and before this day you have not heard them…” Isaiah 48:5-7
Then God scoffs at idols and those who trust in them. He tells His people that idols cannot foretell as He can, and does.
“Let them (idols) bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things…and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come…indeed you are nothing…he who chooses you is an abomination.” Isaiah 41:22-24
The Hebrew word for ‘idols’ in the present context is elil which has several synonyms translated, ‘deficient,’ ‘worthless,’ ‘empty,’ and ‘vain.’
God challenges those who trust in idols to let their idols prove themselves by confirming they had foretold present events and/or be able to foretell future events. He then states that those who trust in idols are as foolish as the idols themselves.
And if the Israelites gave credit to idols for their blessings, God reminded them that it was He who chose them and blessed them.
“…Besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them (Israelites).” Isaiah 44:6b-7
God challenged the idols of the Israelites to foretell the future.
God then extended His challenge to all soothsayers and false prophets to justify themselves.
“Let all the nations be gathered together… ‘Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified…’” Isaiah 43:9
Specific examples of God’s foretelling are found throughout the Bible. Such sovereignty applies to individuals as well as nations.
“But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me…” Job 23:13-14
Then on the national and international level:
“The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, ‘Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand: that I will break the Assyrian in My land…’” Isaiah 14:24-25b
The Assyrian defeat was indeed accomplished just as foretold.
Moreover, God’s purpose for Assyria has worldwide implications.
“This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth…For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?” Isaiah 14:26-27
The question remains: is America taking God’s word seriously?