10th June 2018

Perfect Timing 

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV UK) 

I was running late for a meeting the other day when it struck me how much our human experience is affected by time. As mortal creatures, every moment truly matters. Of course, the irony of this is how impatient we become when we’re waiting for something! I can’t think of a better example of this than the nation of Israel in the first century. For generations they had been enslaved and oppressed by one foreign nation after another. For generations they had cried out for a Saviour. Yet God waited until a very specific moment in history to fulfil his promise, and deliver the Messiah the world had been hoping for. The apostle Paul says, “But when the fulness of time had come, God sent his Son…” (Galatians 4:4 ESV UK).

God chose a specific hour and day to enter history; not a moment sooner or later. It might be easy to write off the importance of this, but as history has progressed, it’s become easier to see just how perfect God’s timing was. For example, in the first century most of the known world was unified under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was, however also a relatively peaceful time, which meant that travel from one end of the Empire to the other—and thus the global spread of the Gospel—was possible in a way as never before. Not only was most of the world unified politically, it was also unified culturally, through a single trade language: Greek. This common tongue made it possible to communicate the Gospel to many different people groups within a relatively short amount of time.

Another reason the first century was perfect timing, has to do with the people-groups the Romans had already conquered. Because their native deities had failed to give them victory over Rome, most of their idols were abandoned, leaving a spiritual void. The flip side to this was the widespread spiritual hunger among the educated class of Greeks and Romans, whose pursuit of philosophy and science had left them empty as well.

In hindsight, it becomes more and more clear why the exact moment of Christ’s incarnation truly was perfect timing. So the next time you get impatient while waiting for God to fulfil a promise, remember that, and be encouraged by, this verse: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

God is never early, and never late. His timing is always perfect!

Prayer
Eternal Father, thank you for this reminder, that you are always in charge, always ahead of what needs to be done and when. Although you live in eternity, you created time for us, and you monitor us within time to meet our needs, our requirements. Another example of your grace and kindness. Thank you, in Jesus’ name we ask this.
Amen
 

Study by Greg Williams

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About the Author:
Greg Williams is Vice President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in North Carolina, USA.

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