Summary: Your life & mine are in the hands of God, & He keeps the clock! So let’s think about God’s perfect timing in the O.T., in the life of Jesus Christ, and in our lives, too. (Powerpoint available - #326)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #326.)
TEXT: Galatians 4:4-5
ILL. There is a familiar song that begins with these words: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.” It is a beautiful song that brings back a lot of memories.
One stanza says, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; Soon the bells will start. And the thing that will make them ring - is the carol that you sing right within your heart.” I like that!
A. To us, Christmas is special because it celebrates the birth of Jesus. And because of Him, it is also a time when we can envision a world the way it could & ought to be.
ILL. There was an article a few years ago in which a man gave his idea of a perfect world. He said, "In a perfect world you would feel as good at 60 as you did at 17. And you would be as smart at 60 as you thought you were at 17."
"In a perfect world professional basketball & football players would be complaining because schoolteachers were signing multi?million dollar contracts. In a perfect world,” he said, “potato chips would have calories, but if eaten with dip, the calories would be neutralized." That was his idea of a perfect world.
APPL. What would make this a perfect world for you? Ice cream that's good for the heart? Apple pies that prevent cancer? Cheese cake that helps take off pounds? I can think of all kinds of things for my perfect world.
B. Since we're thinking about perfect things, notice what Galatians 4:4?5 says, "But when the time had fully come God sent His son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons."
In that passage we find 3 perfect things: Perfect timing - when the time was exactly right. The perfect gift - God sent His Son. And the perfect purpose - to redeem us.
C. But this morning let's focus on the perfect timing. Paul says, "…the time had fully come."
Now in the Greek language there were two words for "time". One is "kairos" which means "opportune time" - an opportunity that comes your way, that just pops up -maybe quite by accident.
Then there’s "kronos" from which comes our word "chronology" ? the orderly progression of events, when everything follows its proper sequence. And that is the word used in Galatians 4:4, indicating that God didn't decide on the spur of the moment to take advantage of an opportune time.
But rather, God planned & orchestrated the sequence of events, & when the time was just right, He sent His only begotten Son into the world.
Acts 17:26 says, "From one man God made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; & He determined the times set for them & the exact places where they should live." That scripture simply says, “God is in control.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
PROP. So your life & mine are in the hands of God. God keeps the clock. And "God has made everything beautiful in its time." Now let's think about God's perfect timing in the O.T., & in the life of Jesus Christ, & in our lives, too.
I. GOD'S PERFECT TIMING IN OLD TESTAMENT EVENTS
First of all, notice God's perfect timing in Old Testament events.
A. In Genesis 24 is the story of Abraham's servant being sent back to their homeland, to the town of Nahor, to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant felt the pressure of his assignment, & he didn't want to fail.
So when he arrived there he knelt at the well of Nahor & he prayed that God would send the right young woman to the well, & that when he asked for a drink, she would also offer to water his camels.
Now what do you think the odds are of that happening just that way? But that was his prayer. And as he was praying, the Bible says that Rebekah came to the well & filled her water jar.
“The servant hurried to meet her & said, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar.’ ‘Drink, my lord,’ she said, & quickly lowered the jar to her hands & gave him a drink.
"After she had given him a drink, she said, ‘I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking.’" (Genesis 24:17-19)