People spend millions of dollars each year trying to see into the future. Yet only God knows it, and here is why.
A peculiar industry has been growing in America. It generates $2 billion in revenue a year and employs roughly 85,000 people who are primarily mediums, astrologers, palm readers, and fortune-tellers.1
According to an article about finance on Yahoo.com, people who work in “psychic services” earn about $1.5 billion a year in total wages and draw clients from all walks of life, including executives.2 Apparently, human beings want to know the future. Do they learn it from psychics?
Not according to writer Benjamin Radford:
Do any of these fortune-telling tools work? Unfortunately not, and it’s not a difficult question to test. Fortune-tellers failed to predict the September 11, 2001, attacks, the recent global economic collapse, the 2011 Japanese tsunami and nuclear meltdown, and countless other important world events that would have saved innocent lives if they’d been accurately predicted.3
However, the Bible foretells the future with 100 percent accuracy—and usually hundreds of years before the events occur. How can that be? Because it is God’s living Word. God knows the end from the beginning, and He not only foretells the future but determines it.
God is the supreme Ruler of the universe. He operates in total freedom as the eternal I AM who possesses all power and all knowledge and controls and operates all things after the counsel of His own will, in harmony with His attributes. What God decrees will happen; and what He forbids will not.
Throughout the Old Testament, God proclaims His sovereignty, particularly when it comes to Israel. Israel’s history—past, present, and future—has been prewritten in God’s Word with such pinpoint accuracy that it alone should prove there not only is a God but that there is only one God: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
One of the most interesting prophecies involves the Israelites’ captivity and their release to return home.
Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, Moses told them, “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Dt. 7:6).
Unfortunately, after Israel settled in the land, it eventually became laden with sin and forsook the Lord, bringing God’s judgment (cf. Isa. 1—3). First the 10 northern tribes went into captivity in Assyria. Then the remaining southern tribes were taken captive to Babylon; and Jerusalem, along with King Solomon’s Temple, was destroyed (586 BC).
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God promised 70 years of bondage, followed by liberation (Jer. 29:10–11). These prophecies unfolded precisely as Scripture said they would, even down to the detail of a specific, heathen, Persian king named Cyrus (ca. 559–529 BC) liberating the Jewish captives and providing for their return to Judah to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple.
In Isaiah 44:24—45:8, God declares His absolute sovereignty over the universe. The statement is so strong it almost sounds like He is shouting:
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness” (44:24–25, emphasis added).
Over and over in Scripture, God declares that He created and rules everything; and history verifies the accuracy of His words. Yet a Gallup poll released in 2019 found only 40 percent of Americans believe in creationism; and “more Americans continue to think that humans evolved over millions of years—either with God’s guidance (33%) or, increasingly, without God’s involvement at all (22%).”4
The heart of God’s revelation in Isaiah 44:24–28 is His sovereign choice of Cyrus, king of Medo-Persia, to deliver the Jewish people from Babylon. In the eighth century BC, the prophet Isaiah specifically named Cyrus 100 years before Cyrus was born and 150 years before Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC. The one and only omniscient God announced these events long before they took place.
He called Cyrus “My shepherd” (v. 28), a name often used for rulers, both good and bad, and declared, “he shall perform all My pleasure” (v. 28). Cyrus would accomplish every detail God intended to accomplish through him (cf. 2 Chr. 36:22–23). Every king’s heart “is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Prov. 21:1).
God made it exceedingly clear that He and He alone called Cyrus, a Gentile king, to deliver Israel: “I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me” (Isa. 45:5).
The phrase though you have not known me emphasizes the extraordinary fact that God would anoint a Gentile to accomplish the great feat of delivering His Chosen People. God reminded the future captives that He does His will and accomplishes His purposes without anyone’s help.
His overriding purpose for choosing Cyrus was that all the world might know Israel’s God is the only true and living God: “That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other” (v. 6).
Only the God of Israel is omnipotent; omniscient; omnipresent; and, above all, sovereign. He alone rules the universe and can do the impossible. He alone can predict the future because He alone decrees it: “I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things” (v. 7). God sovereignly creates, cares for, and controls everything in the universe, according to His divine purpose—whether it be individuals or nations—for their well-being or their adversity.
This section concludes with what some call a poetic hymn and others call a prayer: “Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it” (v. 8).
As rain from heaven gives physical life to God’s creation, the request is for God to rain down righteousness, producing salvation. The ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy will come during the Millennial Kingdom, when Jesus (Israel’s Messiah) rules on Earth. Then justice and righteousness will fill the world.
The triune God of Israel is the Creator who controls and will consummate all things. He shows us history before it takes place, and He will bring to fruition everything He has promised.
We have no need for “psychic services” because we serve a great and mighty God who knows the end from the beginning and is a sure hope to all who put trusting faith in Him.
- Minyoung Park, “A mysterious US industry has been growing since the recession—psychic services,” finance.yahoo.com, July 10, 2016 (tinyurl.com/PsychicFinance).
- Benjamin Radford, “Fortune-Telling: Fact, Fiction & Fantasy,” livescience.com, April 9, 2013 (tinyurl.com/FTscams).
- Megan Brenan, “40% of Americans Believe in Creationism,” news.gallup.com, July 26, 2019 (tinyurl.com/MBgallup).