In all the many years of human civilization, basic human nature hasn’t changed at all. Technology has changed the way we live, but the basics remain the same—and they are remarkably the same across all cultures and all people. Also, down through all the ages of time, God has not changed. So, we human beings go through the same stuff over and over again, never seeming to learn the lessons. This is why history repeats itself. It is why prophecies are fulfilled more than once. It isn’t that God hasn’t told us. He has sent prophet after prophet, but people don’t listen to prophets.
We would like to think that we would listen. But would we? I think one of the reasons people miss the point on prophecy is because they are trying to determine what will happen and when. The prophets are mostly concerned with what is happening and why. There is a genre of literature called
apocalyptic which concerns itself with what the future holds. The difference between apocalyptic literature and prophecy is that prophecy is loaded with moral teaching, which is almost entirely absent from apocalyptic literature. In my experience, most people are really interested in apocalyptic and give short shrift to prophecy. Perhaps because the powerful morality of the prophets makes them uncomfortable. It may be that the necessary moral tone of the prophets is why God picks them very young and brings them up the way he wants them. To Jeremiah, God said this:
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.