Joshua 6:1-27 records the fall of the city of Jericho at the hands of the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua. Bible scholars have set the date for this event around 1406 B.C. After the city was looted and burned, Joshua announced an ominous curse in chapter 6:26-27. At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates.”
In 874 B.C. Ahab became king of Israel and he reigned until 853 B.C. While Ahab was king of Israel, this prophecy pronounced by Joshua was fulfilled. We can believe what the Scriptures foretell because God’s prophecies are being fulfilled. In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up it gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.” 1 Kings 16:34
Theologians tell us that approximately two-thirds of the Bible relates in some way to prophecy. There are evidences all through the Scriptures of prophecy and the way it was fulfilled. In many instances, it appears that the person pronouncing the prophetic Word of God may not have even realized himself the full meaning of what he was saying; only that God had put it in his heart to say it.
As Christians, we recognize that the most important prophecies in the Bible are those that point the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. There are way too many to list them here, but some of the most revealing are found in the book of Isaiah.
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.
This is what God the Lord says—he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it; who gives breath to its people and life to those who walk on it: I, the Lord, have called you to righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you a covenant for the people and a light to the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Isaiah 42:1-9
Is this not a wonderful description of our Savior and a comforting hope to all of us who have put our trust in him? The book of Isaiah is long and difficult to understand, but it is filled with promises of salvation through Jesus that we can realize today; and promises of the future yet to be fulfilled.