God’s Providential Timing

I Samuel 23:26 sounds like a scene right out of an action movie: David is on one side of a mountain, and Saul and his army on the other, in hot pursuit! But just when things are about to come to a head, :27 says that a messenger came and reported to Saul: “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land.” Then :28 says “Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines.”

While this text never specifically mentions the work of God, it is obvious that His hand was at work here, ordering events for the purpose of delivering His anointed, David. The attack of the Philistines, and Saul’s withdrawal from the pursuit of David, came at “just the right time” — and it was not an accident! It was God’s providential timing!

We need to realize that it was not only in Old Testament days that God caused the timing of events to work together according to His purposes. He still employs His providential timing today. Why did you meet a given person at a certain time? Why was there a delay in a certain event? Why did things happen just when they did? Many of us just write such things off as “coincidences”, but Christians do not believe this universe is guided by random principles, but by a Sovereign God. Therefore we should never refer to “coincidences”, or “luck”, but rather the Providence and provision of God.

Did the timing work out just right for you on something? That wasn’t “luck”; give thanks to God for it — it was His providential timing. Have circumstances come together to point you in a certain direction? Although we need to be careful that circumstances themselves do not guide us entirely, you need to take a careful look at whether your circumstances are an evidence of the Lord’s direction for you. Because just like in David’s day, those circumstances did not just “happen.” They are the particular timing of the providence of God!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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