“Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.” Sun Tzu – The Art of War
Yesterday, after a long day of birthday celebrations, I laid down to watch one of my favorite TV shows. You know what happened next, Lol!! About an hour later, I awoke much to my chagrin to see only the last 10 minutes
of the show! Of course that is when the outcomes of the episode are all revealed. Fortunately, the show re-aired in the next hour and I was able to watch it in its entirety. What a difference FOREKNOWLEDGE– awareness of something before it happens or exists, makes! Foreknowledge took away ALL the suspense! I had NO ANXIETY about what was about to happen to the central characters…I already knew how the conflicts and cliffhangers would be resolved. So I now viewed the intermediary events with the end in mind.
For my Theologian friends, I’m NOT going into a discussion on Arminian vs. Calvinistic beliefs on election, foreknowledge and predestination in terms of salvation today. It just struck me how even in something small and fictitious, knowing what was going to happen altered my mental perception and emotions, and brought me into a sense of calm. Though the transitional events in the MIDDLE of the drama were not all positive; I knew the END results! I also knew whether the motives of the characters were pure or if they were believing lies, succumbing to fears, or setting themselves up to fail!
Think about the role of prophecy in our lives, whether the LORD is speaking to our spirits, or through one of His prophetic messengers. In Jeremiah 1 God gave the prophet future insight into his life, purpose and calling to the nations “to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” (vs . 10) The road Jeremiah was to travel would not be easy. He could not be afraid of the response of people to God’s messages. He was given ‘intel’ on the outcomes, “They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the LORD.” (vs. 19) When tasked with something difficult, it is comforting to know you’re in God’s will. The LORD did it for Mary in Luke 1 and for Paul in Acts 9. All of their callings held many challenges and dangers. Knowing in advance what they would suffer and WHY brought strength and resolve. Even Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowlege of God…” (Acts 2:23a)
By the grace and mercy of the LORD, we often have insight into future events. He told Isaiah He declares the end from the beginning, His counsel would stand, and He will accomplish what He pleases (Isa. 46:10) I think God does that to help us endure and have the proper outlook during the scary and sometimes tragic decisions and circumstances in the midpoints of our journey. Trusting His revealed will also helps us maintain patience while waiting for His promises to be fulfilled. What would you do? How would you feel? if you knew God was already going to rescue you in the last “10 minutes” of your cliffhanger?
“We pay a price when we deprive children of the exposure to the values, principles, and education they need to make them good citizens.” – Sandra Day O’Connor – Supreme