June 14

Today's Bible Readings
     Deuteronomy 19
     Psalms 106
     Isaiah 46
     Revelation 16
''Remember the formerthings of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure."  (Isaiah 46:9-10)
            The interest of people in knowing the future is amazing. Over the years, thousands of self-appointed seers and mercenary prophets have tried to capitalize on people's desire to know the future. One of the most famous foretellers of the future was the Delphi Oracle. The King of Lydiawent to see if he should enter into battle with Persia. The Delphi Oracle said, 'If you enter into this battle, a great empire will be destroyed."  He took it to mean that this was probably for his own interest. Sure enough, a great empire was destroyed…his own.
            People still look to horoscopes, crystal balls, and psychics to discover what their future holds. There are always some preachers around who can tell us what will happen in the next few months, and even days, from the world of Bible prophecy. Most of those turn out to be a hoax or well-meaning errors.
            It is a dangerous thing to claim to predict the future. Josh Billings said, ''don't ever try to predict the future. If you are right, no one will remember and, if you are wrong, no one will forget it." People continue to point to those out of history like Nostradamuswho was supposed to be able to predict the future with amazing accuracy. Usually, these prognosticators are misquoted. Close examination will always reveal that they are wrong at least 99% of the time. Man always fails when he tries to predict the future.
            When the astrologers of Nebuchadnezzarwere threatened with their lives if they could not tell the King what he dreamed, and the meaning of his dream, they panicked and ran to a Hebrew in exile named Daniel. Daniel went to prayer, and revealed the dream and the meaning of the dream. When they asked him how he was able to accomplish it, he said, in Daniel, chapter 2, ''There is a God in Heaven who reveals mysteries."
            It is important for believers to understand that God does indeed know the future. He has revealed much of that future in His Word. In the Old Testament, there are 109 prophecies concerning the First Coming of our Lord, and they have all been minutely fulfilled. Thirty-three of those prophecies were fulfilled in one day. In his book, Science Speaks, Nathan Stoner pointed out the probability of this was 1 in 10 to the 68thpower. It had happened exactly as God said. In that same Old Testament Scripture, there are 350 specific prophecies concerning the Second Coming of Christ. They will all be fulfilled minutely.
            Therefore, believers should be interested in Bible prophecy because it reveals the purposes of God, demonstrates
God's ability to control the future, and validates the authority of the Word of God. His counsel will stand - we can trust our future to Him.
            Maliis an African nation of more than 1.4 sq. km. landlocked with dry, southern grasslands, and the Sahara Desert.
The NigerianRiver runs through the southern part of the country. God has answered many prayers for this African nation. The church has experienced accelerated growth; God has used economic migration to spread the Christians, and therefore the Gospel. Islam has proved a disappointment to many, and the number of missions and missionaries has more than doubled. It is predominantly a Muslim country with about 2% Christians. In situations like this, we need to pray for God to
giveencouragement and strength to the outnumbered believers, that they will remain faithful in spreading the Gospel regardless of opposition.
''Live near to God so all things will appear to you little in comparison with eternal realities."
R. M. McCheyne