‘In a short time, a very short time, shall Lebanon become fertile land and fertile land turn into forest?’ The prophetic vision of forthcoming events in the Bible has a very strange nature. It is just as much about the future as the past. When we hear of falling empires, the fall of the Holy City, or exile - in the words of the prophet actually past generations also speak. They had experienced these horrors. They want to emphasise, under the surface of the grammatical future, that these sufferings are real. What is going to happen, what is predicted - it already happened. The Biblical future is never a phantasy. It always speaks of what is real.
When we read the prophet’s words, in us, a hidden community is reading and remembering. These ‘future perfects’, that all this will have happened, should strengthen our relationship with past generations. Through the depth of our DNA, it is not only me, the child of the present, but they also speak, hope, and investigate the future. They warn us, who are entrapped in and veiled by the present, that we need to be strengthened by their experiences. We need them, this fellowship created by history, in order to have sufficient desire for the future promised by God. Otherwise there won’t be a way out of our cyber-presence (grammatically ‘cyber-present-perfect’).
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..