120 Year Prophecy
Let’s begin investigating the meaning of the 120 years disclosed in Genesis 6:3 to discover if it is actually a prophetic announcement of a timeline that ends abruptly after 120 non-sequential Jubilees. In other words, let’s begin looking for clues that this actually is a 6000-year prophetic harbinger, or are we just letting our imagination hold hands with our wishes and expectation?
Are we imposing unwarranted speculation into the Genesis 6:3 120 year prophecy?
To answer this question, I would like to investigate 3 things in the descending order of importance.
Pattern is Prophecy
Since all our clues come from the Scriptures alone the first question we need to ask is, "How many times does the Hebrew reveal the number 120?" More accurately, "How many times does the Hebrew reveal One Hundred and Twenty Years?"
The answer is that this revelation is unfolded before us on only three occasions. In the first instance, God is revealing it to Noah, and in the second instance God reveals it to Moses.
Could the first clue as to the meaning of the 120 year prophecy we find in Genesis 6:3 be hidden in plain sight in the two narratives that uniquely and exclusively connect to this mysterious prophecy? Even the most cursory glance at the circumstances around the death of Moses provides the clues needed to unravel this mystery.
The real question is this:
Does God use prophetic patterns to reveal events that have not yet unfolded in time and space?
Most Christians are familiar with the obvious prophetic patterns that are being forecast in the biblical narrative we find in Genesis 22:2:
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Most Christians that are familiar with the narrative understand that Isaac was a picture of the sacrificial death of Messiah. Every detail in the story of Abraham offering up Isaac on Mount Moriah was a shadow type of a future parallel event that would take place on Calvary. There is no question that God uses prophetic narratives–real events recorded in His word–in order to alert us to something astounding that is going to happen in the future. Many Christians believe that the story of Abraham and Isaac is the first clear narrative with future prophetic implications.
There is no question that the story of Abraham and Isaac was a prophetic harbinger meant to capture our attention and alert us to the fact that God had something planned that could be understood in light of the story of Abraham and Isaac. But it was not the first prophetic pattern we find in the Scripture.
Have you ever considered the prophetic pattern found in the beginning of the Old Testament that finds its ultimate fulfillment at the end of the New Testament?
In the Genesis chapter three we read about the first Adam standing naked and ashamed before a tree. The first Adam has disobeyed the instructions of his Heavenly father and brought shame and the curse of death upon himself and all his descendants. Adam is cast out of paradise.
In the Gospel of John, in the 19th chapter, we read about the Second Adam standing naked and put to shame on a tree. The Second Adam is obeying the instructions of his Heavenly Father. The Sacrifice of the Second Adam removed the curse of sin and death. The Second Adam invited a criminal who was one of the first to experience the power of the redeeming blood of Jesus to join him in Paradise that very day.
There are dozens of more parallels that I could cite between the First and the Second Adam. These are sufficient to answer the question, "Does the LORD God use biblical narratives as a method of prophesying future events?"
The evidence is overwhelming and clear.
The answer is Yes.
So what does this have to do with Noah, Moses and the mystery of the 120-year prophecy?
The answer is everything.
Noah is given this prophecy at a specific and strategic point in time. The entire world had become lawless.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Noah has found grace in the sight of the Lord and he and seven others will be saved from the destruction of the entire world. The 120-year prophecy is connected with a “C” Change in world history. The old is going to pass away and something new is about to begin.
Now lets visit Moses as the hikes up to the top of Mount Nebo.
And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
Moses is prevented from going into the Promised Land. Immediately after his death, the children of Israel enter the Promised Land. The death of Moses is very specific–we are told that he died according the word of the Lord. What word is in view? Could it be the Word revealed in Genesis 6:3?
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Does the life of Moses represents the same period of time that is in view with the 120-year prophecy revealed to Noah? After the 120 Salvation Jubilees or 6000 years are fulfilled, do the Children of Israel enter the 1000-year millennial reign of Messiah in Israel? Is the 6000 years for mankind rehearsed in the drama of the death of Moses? The death of Moses at 120 years old immediately precedes the march into the Promised Land by the Jews. Is that the Prophetic Pattern that forecast the biggest “C” change to ever unfold in time and space? Bigger than the Flood of Noah?
As a prophetic harbinger, does is mark the beginning of the final 1000-year Messianic age?
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