Wednesday, August 4, 2021
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV).
Who are the seven noteworthy men in Scripture named before their births?
As per the fifth course of chastisement in the Law of Moses, the idolatrous nation Israel was removed from the Land of Canaan via Gentile deportations and captivities (Leviticus 26:27-46). In the case of Judah, the Southern Kingdom, Babylon was its home for 70 years, circa 606–536 B.C. (Jeremiah 25:11,12; Jeremiah 29:10,11; 2 Chronicles 36:20,21). However, before Babylon thrice invaded and ultimately conquered Jerusalem, God promised a deliverer who would defeat/possess Babylon and grant the Israelites permission to return to the Promised Land and rebuild Jerusalem and its Temple.
“That saith of Cyrus [“possess the furnace,” King of Persia], He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;…” (Isaiah 44:28–45:1). Some 150 years after Isaiah, Cyrus—also called “Darius the Median”—fulfilled this prophecy concerning him (cf. Daniel 5:30,31; Daniel 9:1,2; 2 Chronicles 36:22,23; Ezra 1:1-3).
During the ministries of the Old Testament prophets, Israel repeatedly disregarded God’s messengers and remained in unbelief. Thus, the LORD warned He would eventually stop sending preachers to Israel (Amos 8:11-14). With Malachi’s ministry concluding, the Hebrew Bible was closed circa 400 B.C. No Scriptures were written either. (This is how we know the Apocryphal books are forgeries!) Finally, after four centuries of silence, God spoke to Israel again through John the Baptist’s ministry: “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John [the Baptist, “favored of JEHOVAH”]” (Luke 1:13). Even after all this time, God in His grace still favors ungrateful Israel, and will still fulfill the covenants He promised them!
Now, the last man on our list, the greatest Man, the God-Man….