BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” Galatians 4:4,5 NLT
The arrival of the “Christ” – The Messiah was a long waited event for God’s people. The prophet of old had uttered words of the promised “Emmanuel” who would come. There was anticipation of Him who would be known as the wonderful counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace. There was the longing for Him who would rule over the House of David forever.
God’s plan is certainly a mystery and one that is challenging to piece together. As we stand at this juncture in history, we know that all that was spoken of by the prophets and anticipated by God’s people through the ages is still to be fulfilled.
Eden has not been restored. There is still a longing for “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” This is especially true was we view international tensions, worldwide conflicts, terrorism and bitter fights over political positions amidst the grabbing for power.
However, one thing that we can observe and know from scripture is that God has a timing. He know what He is doing and He know when He will act. The God that is above time is the One who works within the span of time that He created for this earth.
God’s timing compels us to wait. to wait patiently, to wait expectantly. God’s timing is what enables us to cultivate and hone hope. Hope is a “confident expectation.” It is that which we believe and know will happen, but are not always confident as to when.
God’s timing compels us to trust. The perpetual temptation in God’s plan being fulfilled is to know what the Lord has said is not for us to know. Many seek to “discover” the “unknown” as a means to prove God’s truth worthiness. But He doesn’t need our help, He just needs our faith and trust.
When Jesus was born, it was not have anticipated that He would be born in a stable, visited by shepherds. It was not anticipated that He would be from Nazareth. It was not anticipated that He would live an obscure life for 30 years.
We don’t know why Jesus was born after 300 years of silence from God called prophetic voices. At a time when it seemed the appearance of Messiah was relegated to nice tales of the past, the Word became flesh and the reality of that which was promised came to be….at the “right” time.
We can look historically how the “stage was set” in so many ways for the birth of Jesus. From the rule of the Romans to the economic and cultural environment. To the religious structures and systems that had complicated God’s purposes and ways.
Jesus was born at the “right” time and He will return to complete all that scripture predicts, at the “right” time. Angels announced Jesus birth and angels had a message when Jesus was taken to heaven after the resurrection,
“This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11 NIV)
The writer of Hebrews lays out the part one and part two of God’s plan of redemption, “…so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28 NIV)
Just as God’s timing was right when Christ was born, God’s timing will be right when Christ returns. That is something that should be in the forefront of our hearts and minds at Christmas. We need to recognize what has taken place and anticipate what will take place that is all in keeping with God’s timing. In that assurance we can know His peace and live in hope.