Summary: This sermon shows that God has 'Divine Appointments' for His children in the midst of different situations
THE GOD OF UNEXPECTED DIVINE APPOINTMENTS
I once read a story in a magazine of an atheist who loved nature & had gone on a hike on a nature trail. As he kept admiring the scenes around him, he lost track of the trail and when the time came for him to get back, he realized that he was hopelessly lost. So, for the first time in his life, he prayed to God.
He did come out alive eventually, and was relating the incident to some friends. At the point when he mentioned about his prayer to God, one of the friends asked, 'Well, how did God answer your prayer'? The unbelieving man replied, 'Well, before God could answer the prayer, a guide came along & brought me to safety!'.
Sadly, the man couldn't see God's hand in the answer! It was not the way he thought God should answer.
Proposition: Today, I want to speak about unexpected ways in which God brings about 'Divine Appointments'.
Let me leave with you 4 areas (I'm sure there are more), where this can happen. Some of them may seem like negative situations, but God will always come through for us!
1) AN UNEXPECTED MEETING CAN BECOME A DIVINE APPOINTMENT: (2KINGS 8 :1-6)
The story in 2 Kings 8, centers around a Shunammite lady who had been blessed by Elisha's ministry. Not only was she blessed with the miracle of a child at an earlier date (2 Kings 4:17), but later, the now grown up son was raised from the dead by the power of God! (2 Kings 4:35)
Thereafter, on Elisha's instructions, she had left her home & gone to Philistine territory to avoid a 7 year famine (2 Kings 8:1-2). Now that the famine was over, she had come back, 7 years later, only to find to her dismay, that the house & land no longer belonged to her. Some Bible commentators believe that the land had either been seized by the Government, or that someone may have encroached on the land & forcibly taken it over.
In her desperation, this lady (with her son), went to see the King (2 Kings 8:3), hoping for a suitable answer; for maybe small mercies. Little did she know that God had prepared a 'Divine Appointment' for her, not only through meeting the King, but also by 'unexpectedly' meeting Gehazi, Elisha's servant. (2 Kings 8:4)
It so happened that when she entered & cried unto the King (8:5), he was at that very moment having a 'spiritual' chat with Gehazi, about all the things Elisha had done (8:4-5) & it so happened, that at that very moment, Gehazi was telling the King about how God, through Elisha, had raised this very same lady's son from the dead (8:5)! Talk about 'Divine Appointments'! The shocked King may have been speechless for a while!
The King in his surprise then asked the lady whether this was true & she affirmed it (8:6). After all, there's nothing better than a first hand account! It was truly an ' Unexpected Divine Appointment' & the end result was that she not only got her house & land back, but also the income from the land for the past 7 years! I wonder whether any bank has that kind of payback scheme!
In life, God sends many unexpected people across our path. We meet them in supermarkets, concerts, funerals social functions etc. Many times, we may consider such meetings as irrelevant or even as irritants to our busy schedule. But, could it be, many times, that God is sending them to us unexpectedly, as a 'Divine Appointment', either as a blessing for them, or, maybe even for us, as it happened for the lady in 2 Kings 8? Such meetings are also blessed opportunities to share the Gospel.
Illustration: I once received an unexpected call from an unknown person, who was not a believer, who wanted to meet me immediately. It was a Saturday afternoon & since Sunday was a busy day, I was looking forward to a time of rest, before preparing for the Sunday. I was therefore not too keen to meet anyone at that time (shame on me!), & tried my best to encourage him to see me the following day at church, after service. However, since he kept insisting, I had to forget about my rest time & meet up with him. As he entered, his first words, said roughly were, 'I want to know about the Lord Jesus'! Sensing then that this was a 'Divine Appointment, I began to share the Gospel with him. After I finished, this tough looking guy was more than willing to open his heart to the Lord. He soon started attending all the services & bible studies & grew in his faith, being mentored by one of our Pastors. After attending Bible College he answered a call to the missions field. Today, having initially been involved in the underworld, he now serves in the missions world, thanks to an 'Unexpected Divine Appointment!'