Reflection on 2 Peter 1:16-21

Scripture

Above all, you must realise that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke for God.

Observation

Peter defends his accounts of the powerful coming of Christ. He was an eye-witness to the glorious splendour that was revealed when God spoke to Jesus at the Transfiguration.

Because of this experience, Peter now has a greater confidence in the prophets for their words came not from human initiative but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Application

This verse from Peter about the prophets of Scripture is very similar to Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is inspired by God, and is useful to teach us about what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives.

Prophets in the Bible were anointed by the Holy Spirit in a particular way that makes all they wrote infallible.

There are many prophecies which told with great accuracy many of the details of Jesus’ coming. Often these are clothed in imagery and symbolism, but they speak accurately of Jesus coming into the world and dying to redeem all who will trust Him. They also speak of Jesus coming as a great king to rule over the entire earth.

The Old Testament prophets are not like many contemporary prophets who may make errors in their attempts to encourage and exhort. We must use spiritual discernment in receiving these prophecies. But with the Scriptural prophets we can have confidence that they speak truth.

The prophets genuinely spoke for God because they were moved by the Holy Spirit. This can be true of each of us, if we allow the Holy Spirit to move in our hearts.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, let my heart be filled with you, so that, like the prophets of old, I can speak for you. Amen.

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