Why are we “slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken”?
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures! (Luke 24:25-27)
In the text above Jesus is speaking to the two men walking on the road to Emmaus on the 3rd day after the His death. Somehow His identity was kept from them. We read of an obvious rebuke in regards to the unwillingness of these two disciples to believe the Scriptures concerning His death and resurrection!
If we fast-forward nearly 2000 years I fear lest the men and women of today hear a similar rebuke in regards to Jesus’ 2nd Coming. “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken [of My Second Coming]!
One must ask WHY are our hearts so slow to believe the prophets? I believe there must be a “satanically inspired cloud” over the prophetical books of Daniel, Zechariah, Isaiah and Revelation. Could it be because they foretell the future of Satan more than any other books in the Bible?
I find it interesting that, although many in the church know that there is a special blessing promised to those who “read and hear” the prophecy of the book of Revelation, still multitudes say that “they get nothing out of the book” or that “it is too difficult for them to understand“!
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it… Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”(Rev 1:3; Rev 22:7)
One must also ask, WHY is there a blessing attached to those who “read and hear” the words of Revelation? Are we being blessed because we can “puzzle out” the truth behind the many symbols and figures?
If we are honest with ourselves, I think we would have to agree that most of the church is more inclined to say that those who study and seek to understand Revelation are more like a “Geek Squad” than a blessed people. Prophecy Nerds!
Words of wisdom from John Wesley
I find great satisfaction from many dear saints who, in earlier age, have also wrestled with and gained a victory over this book of prophecy. One of them is John Wesley (d. 1791) founder of the Methodist movement.
Some have miserably handled this book. Hence others are afraid to touch it; and, while they desire to know all things else, eject only the knowledge of those which God hath shown. They inquire after anything rather than this; as if it were written, ‘Happy is he that doth not read this prophecy’. Nay, but happy is he that readeth, and they that hear, and keep the words thereof – Especially at this time, when so considerable a part of them is on the point of being fulfilled.
Many things the book itself explains; as the seven stars; the seven candlesticks; the Lamb, His seven horns and seven eyes; the incense; the dragon; the heads and horns of the beasts; the fine linen; the testimony of Jesus: and much light arises from comparing it with the ancient prophecies, and the predictions in the other books of the New Testament… The introduction and conclusion agree with Daniel; the description of the man child, and the promises to Zion, with Isaiah; the judgment of Babylon, with Jeremiah; again, the determination of times, with Daniel; the architecture of the holy city, with Ezekiel; the emblems of the horses, candlesticks, etc., with Zechariah. Many things largely described by the prophets are here summarily repeated; and frequently in the same words. To them we may then usefully have recourse. Yet the Revelation suffices for the explaining itself, even if we do not yet understand those prophecies; yea, it casts much light upon them.
The real purpose for this unique “blessing” from Revelation (unequaled by any other book in the Bible) is that God gives us these 22 chapters so that we can be “dressed in readiness, and keeping our lamps lit” (Lk 12) when He comes again! Expectant and excited.
Let us take on the admonition of John to “heed the things which are written” (Rev 1:3) — meaning to “spiritually guard” and keep our eyes open to the signs of the times as the end of this present age comes to a close and the age to come begins!