Beckett hurried home from school. Opening the front door he called out, “Good news, Mom! I’ve been chosen to represent my class at the history exhibit in the State Capitol. Isn’t that awesome?”
Beckett’s mother came to the kitchen door, flour dusting her hands, a tiny smudge on one cheek. Quietly she said, “Beckett, that’s wonderful! You’ve worked so hard on that exhibit. I’m glad you were chosen.”
That night at dinner, the table-talk centred around Beckett’s exciting news. His parents were understandably proud of their son’s achievement. Plans were discussed for the whole family to go to the Capitol to see Beckett’s presentation. His sister Lucy wasn’t so impressed.
“What’s so neat about history?” she asked. “All you do is talk about a bunch of people who died a long time ago, and things that happened years ago. I like to know what’s happening now!”
Her father looked at her thoughtfully. Then he smiled and said, “You know, Lucy, part of the reason for the differences in the things you and Beckett like are that you are nine years old and Beckett is twelve. Each of us is an individual, and our abilities, likes, and dislikes are varied. They should be centred around what God would like us to do with our lives.
“Even in the Bible, there were different kinds of writers. Some people wrote about things that had already happened—that’s the history Beckett likes. Others wrote about things that were happening right then—that’s what you like, Lucy. Still, others wrote history before it happened.” At this, both Beckett and Lucy raised their heads quickly and said together, “But that’s impossible.”
Their dad looked at them seriously. “You may never have thought of it that way before, but that’s really what they did. The Bible calls it prophesy. Beckett, hand me the Bible, please.”
As Beckett turned to get the Bible, his father continued: “It will be Christmas soon, and some of the most beautiful and interesting prophecies in the Bible are about the birth and life of Christ.” Taking the Bible from Beckett, he turned the pages rapidly. “One of the best-known prophecies about the birth of Christ is in Isaiah 7:14, ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’
“Hundreds of years later, an angel appeared to Mary, who was to become the mother of Jesus, and told her that the child God would give her was to be the Son of God, not of man (Luke 1:31, 35). Soon after that, an angel came to Joseph, who was engaged to Mary. He told Joseph that Mary’s baby was really God’s Son, and was the promised Savior. This helped Joseph realize that Mary was really the wonderful girl he thought her to be and that he didn’t need to hesitate to marry her.”
At this point, Beckett interrupted. “Dad, isn’t there something about the prophets telling what town Jesus would be born in?”
“Yes, Son. When the Wise Men came looking for the new King, the scribes and chief priests found by looking in the Book of Micah, that Bethlehem was the place to send them.”
At this point, Mother brought in the dessert—apple pie! As she placed it on the table she said, “You see, children, prophecy is to God a little like cooking is to me!” In answer to their questioning looks, she continued. “When I cook something, I know that if I put certain things together in a certain order, I will get certain results. For instance, when I started this pie just before Beckett came home today, I could have told you that we would have apple pie for dinner tonight. When God looks at the world and sees what is going on, He can tell what the outcome will be. Because He is God and knows everything perfectly, He knows just what will happen, and can tell people to be prepared—either for good times or for bad times.”
At this, Beckett looked very serious. “It would really be hard to be a prophet. How could you tell whether you were right or not? Lots of people think they know what’s going to happen, but they’re not always right.”
“That’s correct, Beckett,” replied his father. “But if the message is from God it will come true. In Bible times there were lots of people who prophesied things that didn’t happen. There are people who predict things now, but very little of what they say actually takes place. The Bible says if the words of a prophecy don’t prove true, the person that speaks is not a prophet sent by God (Deuteronomy 18:22). Prophecy is a gift from God, and He gives it only to those He chooses.”
Beckett scraped the last crumbs of his piece of pie from his plate and grinned across the table at his mom. “That was super, Mom! Nobody makes apple pie as good as you do.” Propping his elbow on the table, he went back to the subject they had been discussing.
“Dad, you know I’ve always been interested in history, but I never really thought before about the fact that prophecy is actually history in advance. That’s kind of neat! I mean, we can read the Bible and find out things that are still ahead for us.”
His dad smiled. “Yes, Beckett, the Bible does tell us much of what we can expect to happen to this world. And it is a very interesting study, as well as a message to all of us that we must be prepared.”
Beckett nodded soberly. “You’re right, Dad. I guess if it is all written down for us we don’t have any excuse not to be ready for it. I think from now on I’m going to be as interested in the ‘history’ ahead of us as I am in the history that has already happened.”