[Steve Myers] March Madness is long over, but you probably didn't ever think that the NCAA and prophecy have anything in common. Well, I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal after the men's championship game, and it listed how probable it was to have a perfect bracket – to choose every winner from those 64, plus the extra 4 teams, and choose the right winner – pick it perfectly, all along. Do you know what the odds were in order to pick a perfect bracket? It was 1.47 quadrillion to one. Which is 147 with 13 zeroes after it. This is a huge number. It's like 10 to the fifteenth power or something like that. It's unbelievable number. In fact, no wonder Warren Buffett said if anybody got a perfect bracket, he'd pay them a billion dollars. I mean, the odds of that happening are so minute.
Now you might say, okay, well, what does that have to do with Bible prophecy? Well, the Bible's not going to tell you much about your NCAA men's championship bracket. Not going to help you there. But there are a couple of things that connect, I think, in some ways. If you were to read about the prophecies in the book of Daniel, and Nebuchadnezzar's image (Daniel:2:31-45 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.  This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,  His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.  This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.  Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.  And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.  And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.  And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.  And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.  And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.  Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. ), and then those different nations that actually came about, that were prophesied – the odds of that actually happening start to approach that number. If you were to look at how David, in the psalms (Psalm:22:1-31 (To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?  O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.  Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.  They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.  But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.  All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,  He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.  But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.  I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.  Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.  Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.  They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.  I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.  But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.  Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.  Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.  I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.  Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.  For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.  My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.  The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.  For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.  All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.  A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.  They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this. ; Psalm:34:20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.), talks about and describes what happened at the crucifixion of Christ (Zechariah:12:10And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.)– that's hundreds and hundreds of years before crucifixion was even invented, in that same way. The odds of that coming about are astronomical.
In fact, I challenge you – look up some of these prophecies in the Bible. If you look up, let's say, in the book of Isaiah – he predicted the name of the man who would release the Jews from Babylon, King Cyrus (Isaiah:44:28That saith of Cyrus, 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.; Isaiah:45:1Thus 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:45:13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.). The odds of that happening – we're back up in this quadrillion range all over again. And yet, you know what? You see, God brought those things about. They did happen. It wasn't like Warren Buffett who was basically at no risk of these things happening. God predicted it, and it happened. And it helps us to remember what prophecy is all about. God makes these prophecies knowing they will come to pass. And that's what's exactly opposite of what the NCAA bracket is all about. Prophecy by God is proof – especially these fulfilled prophecies – proof that God is, and God is all-powerful. And we can have faith that God will bring about future prophecies, as well.
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