Imagine if you were living in the 5th or 6th century, or in the Middle Ages, or even in the 17th or 18th century and you had at your disposal bible manuscripts (before printing had been invented) or even texts in book form and in your reading you were looking at the great big volume of the prophetic scriptures, dealing largely with Israel. What would be your thoughts? If you were Jewish, you would be able to relate to a land somewhere where your ancestors had lived, but which was now empty of your compatriots’ presence, although you would still be able somehow to have a dim understanding of the prophets (and other scriptures) and their predictions regarding the (unknown and far removed) future. If you were a Christian, how would you connect to these words? Most likely by looking at them on some symbolic or allegorical level, while admitting to yourself that there was much there that was shrouded in mystery, or perhaps was done away with and was no longer relevant.
Thus for almost two millennia the voluminous prophetic writings would have been a largely enigmatic body of texts, the true interpretation of which not being within easy reach. Doesn’t this sound staggering to us, from our vantage point? Here we are, in the 21st century, when so much of what we read in the Word of Elohim seems almost obvious to us, not because of our great scholarly ability or Spiritual enlightenment, but because true to His word YHVH has been fulfilling in the past century and a half much of what is written in His prophetic word, and has allowed us to see it because we are simply living right in the midst of these fulfillments. Indeed, as Habbakuk says, we are seeing what YHVH is speaking (ref. Hab. 2:1). What’s more, technological advances in many fields are enabling us to know more about the creation, knowledge which very often verifies what is written in the Bible, as do the field of archaeology and other disciplines. The trans-world communication system enables us to be aware of what is happening everywhere around the globe, making the knowledge of the Biblical texts applicable to those happenings. Current global and national events, as well as trends, ideologies and a variety of thinking patterns can all be linked to what the Bible foresees (a lot of which is based on similar patterns of the past). We are truly living in a very “enlightening” era in regards to being able to see and experience the Almighty’s truth and veracity. This is an era which, to all intents and purposes, should make people’s faith in an Almighty Creator grow by leaps and bounds.
However it seems that instead, the love of many is growing cold and they are becoming skeptical, much as is predicted in 2nd Peter 3:3-4 “that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’". Or, as Malachi 3:14 puts it: “It is useless to serve Elohim, and what profit is there in serving His ordinance?”
May we not be found among such, for “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). Quite to the contrary, let us not take for granted for one minute the times in which we are privileged to live and the things which we are seeing, not due to any kind of merit of our own. We have not only obtained a salvation which “the [very] prophets [whose words we are now able to understand] have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace” (1 Peter 1:10), but are also “receiving the promise, Elohim having provided something better for us, that they [the faithful ancients] should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:40)!
Much more can be said about this, but it is best said in many places in the Word, of which Hebrews chapter 12ff is particularly pertinent.