Timing and God’s Providence
Today’s reading: II Samuel 21-22; Luke 22:1-30
1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” II Samuel 21:1
22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” Luke 22:22
The mature disciple of Jesus Christ knows that nothing happens by chance or luck, but God orchestrates all of life down to the minutest detail. This occurred in David’s time, Jesus’ time, and in our time. We can be reassured as we grasp the truth of God’s providence in our lives.
A famine came upon Israel. David understood that it was not due to bad luck or some unfortunate coincidence. He knew that God ruled over the harvest whether it be light or heavy. David turned to the Lord for answers and guidance. The Lord revealed to Him the reason for the famine. It had to do with the guilt incurred by Saul over the breaking of a treaty with the Gibeonites and the attempt to annihilate them. Though the treaty itself was foolish and based on deception, God held Israel responsible to maintain their integrity and honor the treaty perpetually (Joshua 9). Seven of Saul’s descendents were executed to satisfy the demand for justice. The famine ended.
In Luke’s account of Jesus final days before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion we are allowed to see all the forces at work to bring about His sacrifice at that time and in that place. The chief priests and scribes were plotting to kill Him; Satan was entering into Judas; the disciples were preparing for the Passover and arguing about who of them was the greatest. Meanwhile, Jesus was serving and teaching them the meaning of His death.
In a matter of a few hours all these protagonists would converge in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the final act would begin on Jesus’ earthly ministry. Was it a coincidence? No, not at all. It was by God’s decree that all this would come about for the salvation of the nations.
What about the apparently random incidents in your life? Are they really random or are they carefully sent by God according to His plan? How would it change your attitude toward interruptions and “bad luck” to have a clearer conviction about the providence of God in your life? We may not always understand what God is doing in the midst of the happenings of our day, but we can always be sure it is Him who is doing it, and He has a purpose and plan for our good and His glory.