Prophecy & Water
I wonder if you’re like me on this: growing up listening to sermons, I heard a decent amount about prophecy. Enough, certainly, to know that a lot of Old Testament prophecies foretold certain things about Jesus and the church.
What I didn’t hear too much about was how most of those same prophecies also had meaning at the time they were spoken—a more literal, immediate application that was in many cases observed during the lifetime of the prophet.
Then, centuries later, the same prophecy would be more fully fulfilled in some larger event. If you’ve read the Bible much, you’ve seen this kind of language: “This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet…” (Mt. 21:4-5). Those New Testament passages are great examples of the final/ultimate fulfillment of prophecies that were partially and initially tied to events hundreds of years before.
It helps for me to think of prophecy like a cup, and the foretold events like water. Most prophecies were “half-filled" within a relatively short time. Only later, when the larger meaning came to fruition, was the prophecy "full-filled.”
Prophecy or otherwise, I love how God layers his words—just when you think you’ve exhausted the meaning/significance of something He’s said, you realize there’s another layer to be discovered and explored.