Why does God often talk to us seemingly unclearly with prophetic riddles and parables?

Marko Joensuu         No comments
In the last two months, I have seen the fulfilment of two life-defining dreams and visions. The first one was for me personally, and it was given to me twenty-five years ago through a vision, and it was confirmed by another vision twenty-four years ago  although it is not until now that I have come to realise that these two visions foretold the same event that has just passed.

What I was shocked about was that in the moment of perhaps one of the most important encounters in my life God didn't give me anything new, but He only activated the memory of one of the prophetic visions I had seen decades earlier  and not even the one that was clearer. Then He waited to see what I would do with it. Would I obey? Would I disregard it? 

Another one was a prophetic dream that was given to me to pass on to someone else. After some time, this dream was fulfilled precisely, but there was an element in the dream that I hadn’t paid much notice of that turned out to be the most decisive element of it all. And unfortunately, the person I gave the dream to also missed that element, and that led to a poor choice. The consequences of that poor choice were clearly displayed in the dream, but  they could only be fully understood retrospectively. 

In the first scenario – which I have described in an earlier post, the fulfilment was entirely based on me recognising an opportunity to love and deciding to respond with love. The prophetic riddle became explainable only through obedient action, and it was only loving action that was able to fulfil the prophetic vision. Had I not chosen loving action, I wouldn't have even know that I had just missed one of the most significant developments in my life!

In the second case, the instructions on how to act were there but it would have taken prayer and reflection to dig them up. The dream was 100% true, but it would have taken some patience to begin to understand its true meaning. 

Why does God do that? How can He take the risk of us missing something genuinely important that has significant consequences to our lives? 

I have reflected on this a lot and come to the conclusion that when God wants us to get deeper in Him, He often speaks to us through riddles because of His mercy, as otherwise we would come under judgement if we disobeyed a clear command. 

Matthew 13:10-15 says,  
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ 
Those who truly desire to understand the mysteries of heaven are the followers of Jesus. They will be willing to give up everything to find the treasures of heaven. They will labour to find the meaning of the prophetic parables. They will pray until they will understand them, because they understand that they need to be obeyed. 

Whereas this generation largely wants the prophetic because they want to have something to talk about. They want to make an impression on others. They are much more interested in the glory than in obedience. And hence they often share the prophetic riddles even before they have taken time to understand them, often making fools of themselves. 

In Luke 10:10-16 Jesus says, 
"But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” 
So, we can see that when the message of God is clear, the judgement for disobedience is always harsher. But when the message is a riddle, it takes us some effort to discover the meaning, and if we don’t look for it, we are only guilty of spiritual laziness rather than wilful disobedience. 

God hides many treasures of His kingdom in His mercy, so that when we get to Heaven we would get at least some sort of reward. 

You can connect with Marko on Twitter @markojoensuu and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mpjoensuu/ or by visiting markojoensuu.com. 
Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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