Have you ever played with a Magic 8 Ball? Ask the ball a question, give it a good shake, and it tells you one of a selection of answers. Some people ask it for advice: “Should I wear this outfit today?” Shake, shake, shake. “My sources say no.” Maybe it can predict the future: “Will it rain tomorrow?” Shake, shake, shake. “Most likely.” Of course, a toy can’t actually predict the future, but it’s a fun game to play. For people in the Old Testament with questions, or wondering about the future, a prophet was the person to ask.
In the Old Testament, prophets were kind of a big deal, they were the way God communicated with His people. The prophets listened to God and were instructed to share His messages with others. Some of these messages were warnings for people who disobeyed God. Others were prophecies, where God revealed knowledge of what would happen and shared it with the people. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many of the minor prophets all prophesied about Jesus.
While we don’t have prophets today in the way that God sent them to the Israelites, we have someone even greater as our prophet—Jesus Himself. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1–2).