Although hindsight regularly reveals a nearly 100% failure rate of New Year’s predictions made by prognosticators, millions still buy up the tabloid journals that publish their predictions. The year 2020 was no different, as scholars of Nostradamus, one of the most well-known diviners, revealed several events they interpreted as predicted in his writings.
The first prediction listed is that global temperatures would rise. Next, the experts anticipated an economic crisis—that the year 2020 would see an economic bubble burst along the lines of the 2008 recession. Then, they said that personal technology use would increase, and that data security breaches would be a problem. People will spend more time online and watching television, they said. Lastly, apparently Nostradamus predicted that there would be an increase in natural disasters in 2020. The Nostradamus interpreters concluded that we shouldn’t be discouraged by these predictions, and they encouraged us to be optimistic for the future.
Some others, however, point out that Nostradamus’ prophecies are so vague and muddled that people can assign any meaning they choose to them. We can see in the 2020 list several things that can fit any given year. It is interesting, though, that the list contains no mention at all of a global pandemic that would bring about a massive social upheaval, and contribute to millions of deaths worldwide.
Noah, on the other hand, gave a very specific prophecy of the future: it was going to rain, and the ensuing flood would destroy life on earth as they knew it. God provided a merciful provision: get on the boat and live. Noah’s shipbuilding project was a 120-year prophecy of exactly what God had in mind. No one could escape the symbolism. The ship could only serve one purpose—to sail on an ocean that didn’t yet exist. That kind of dedication, to spend 120 years building a boat that served no useful purpose, indicated that Noah was either a prophet of God, or crazy. Unfortunately, nearly everyone assumed the latter.
God still provides prophetic messages of hope. Even though the world will descend to the same depths of violence and depravity as in Noah’s day, that will be the indication of Christ’s near return. We can have an optimistic outlook because God has offered us an Ark of safety, we just have to accept the offer and get on board.
Connecting: Do you really want to know the future? If you could see your life events in the upcoming months—knowing that there is nothing you can do to change them—would that distress you? Would it give you a sense of calming reassurance?
Sharing: Why do you think most people rejected Noah’s message?
- They enjoyed their lives too much to want to change
- Noah just seemed like a crazy old man, so why give any credence to his lunacy
- Noah was a better builder than a public speaker, so he wasn’t very effective at persuasion
- The public’s degenerative lifestyles had warped their minds so they were unable to reason effectively
- They could only believe what they had already seen and experienced; they couldn’t imagine such fantasies as torrents and floods
Applying: If you see a young person making life decisions that you know will lead to heartache and ruin, what is the best way you can help them see the ultimate results of their choices?