11The LORD has said to me in the strongest terms: “Do not think like everyone else does. 12Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. 13Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. 14He will keep you safe. But to Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap that entangles them. 15Many of them will stumble and fall, never to rise again. Many will be captured.”
16I will write down all these things as a testimony of what the LORD will do. I will entrust it to my disciples, who will pass it down to future generations. 17I will wait for the LORD to help us, though he has turned away from the people of Israel. My only hope is in him. 18I and the children the LORD has given me have names that reveal the plans the LORD Almighty has for his people. 19So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting mediums and psychics? Do not listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God?
20“Check their predictions against my testimony,” says the LORD. “If their predictions are different from mine, it is because there is no light or truth in them. 21My people will be led away as captives, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and shake their fists at heaven and curse their king and their God. 22Wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.” (Isaiah 8:11-22, NLT)
We are obsessed with the future. It seems like half of the movies and TV shows being released these days depict some sort of dystopian future.
Doomsday prophets seem to fill the airwaves and the media platforms with predictions of the earth’s and mankind’s demise.
My e-mail inbox is flooded with people who want me to pay them for financial advice because they claim to be better than others at predicting the future of the stock market or the technology sector, or the energy industry, or the….well, you get the picture.
The truth is that we are not that great at predicting the future. It’s interesting to watch older movies that are set in a future that is equivalent to our modern day. It’s never close to being right.
Sure, we can plan for the future and we can take all the relevant information at our disposal and make educated guesses about what we think will happen, but there are just too many variables for anyone to be able to make accurate predictions about the future with any degree of consistency.
This is why God, via the prophet Isaiah, asks the question in verse 19:
So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting mediums and psychics?
God is the only person who can tell the future, and that’s because He’s sovereign over everything, including time.
If you’re comparing track records, nobody even comes close as He’s 100% accurate.
Some of our obsession with the future is due to fear. We’re afraid of what might happen to us, to our loved ones and to our community. If this is you, listen again to these words from the prophet Isaiah to the people of God:
Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe… (Isaiah 8:12-14a, NLT)
When have you been tempted to rely on a psychic or medium for advice or information?
When you think of the future, what fears do you have?
What are some practical tips or ideas that will enable you to connect with the Lord and trust him for your future?
Photo by Dave Lowe