Master StorytellersOctober 20, 2019 2023-04-05 19:12
The prophets in the Bible were masterful storytellers. In order to understand the language of prophecy, we need to diligently study several literary and linguistic features of prophecy.
Most of the time, the language of prophecy is not black and white.
In the Bible, prophets used language and forms that were suitable to their time. They wanted the people to get a vivid picture of what God wants them to know. The symbolic language of the prophets can be challenging, but instead of being a hurdle, it can also be a great gift. The use of symbolic language engages our interest and stirs our imagination. With richly figurative language, Isaiah predicted that “there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit” (Isa. 11:1).
This beautiful language cannot be taken literally, but we receive the prophetic word with our hearts because it has captured our interest. When it comes to interpreting prophecy, we must allow the context to determine when a prophetic language should be taken literally or symbolically.
There are prophetic words in the Bible that are still to be fulfilled in our future. The prophet’s ideas would understandably go through radical changes. They were speaking from their generation, and centuries have passed. The historical and cultural context by which a prophetic word has been spoken must be an important consideration. Nevertheless, God’s word is never void (Jn. 10:35) even though the form of its fulfillment can change according to the symbolic or literal meaning of the prophetic word.
Experience the Power of Prophecy as a gift to open your mind to receive the Mind of Christ.
Ask God for a symbolic prophetic word for the day. Write down what the Lord has given you.