Yesterday was “Groundhog Day”, a peculiar day of observance where we await word whether or not a rodent in rural Pennsylvania sees his shadow (as it turns out, Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter weather). This annual event is an odd bit of Americana, with some being elated or dejected simply because of the weather conditions eighty-four miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Modern science and meteorology tells us that winter will last through the vernal equinox – this year on March 20th – but the actions of a groundhog made news yesterday, dashing hopes of many for a mild February and March.
We are a funny people, using anything and everything as a predictor and forecaster of truth. With the Super Bowl© scheduled to be played on Sunday, I have seen news stories and talk show features predicting a winner of the big game through the outcome of a video game, a piglet race or a panda’s proclivity. Some of us are regular readers of our horoscopes and fortune cookies, seeing the movement of the stars and the wisdom found in random baked goods as guidelines for greater truth. Despite the practices and hopes of others, groundhogs, piglets, constellations and tea leaves seem to me to be poor predictors of what the future will bring.
That being said, I expect that there are some (perhaps even a great number of people) who would say that the source of my hope for the future, the Bible, is as reliable as a Magic Eight Ball© in giving direction. But, unlike the outcomes from palm reading or piglet races, the Bible has a track record of fulfilling the predictions it makes (e.g. the 353 Old Testament prophecies consistently fulfilled in Christ). The Scriptures are inerrant in its predictions, not simply with vague suggestions of what may (or may not) come to be but also with complete specificity of place and purpose. The Bible has shown itself to be a reliable predictor of our future.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
I am not contending that the Bible is some sort of conduit of the power of positive thinking or a repository for subjective dreams of better days. I am saying that, properly interpreted, the Scriptures reveals the certain future that awaits us all – abundant and eternal life culminating in our unending reunion with God in the heavenly places for those who trust in Christ and eternal death and separation from God and His blessings for those who refuse to trust in Him. Since the Scriptures are reliably consistent in all it asserts, it can be trusted to faithfully provide what it predicts. One great and glorious day, the Bible will be proven true in all that it claims.
While we can all find some strange amusement in the activities of subterranean critters and cliché laden cookies, we ought not change all our plans nor put all our hopes in them. God’s word is where we ought to place our trust, for it has a record of reliability rivaled by none.