(The beginning of these thoughts about timing came from Gideon Levitam, a Jewish Messianic preacher). Then my thought process kicked in and once again I was thrilled and enriched and encouraged by God’s Word.
Is God moving too quickly for you or are you pestering Him to hurry up? My time machine can take us to the top (Matthew 17:1-8) of a high mountain. We must be very quiet – simply observe carefully – and truly learn. We see Jesus with Peter, James and John. Suddenly Jesus is changing and – WOW! – we fearfully fall to our knees. His face was shining as clear and bright as the noonday sun. His clothes were such a brilliant white it hurt our eyes to look at them. We have never seen anything like the bright, light-white of His raiment. Then Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking to Jesus about future events. When Peter saw the grandeur and majesty of His Sovereign splendour he was sure he had it all figured out. He would set up booths for the Feast of booths/tabernacles and the immediate entry of the Kingdom of heaven.
Not yet Peter! No Cross – no Kingdom.
Jesus turned His back on the glory and set His face toward the Cross. What are you enduring or suffering through at present? Aren’t you glad Jesus waited? God’s timing is always perfect because He always works (Ephesians 1:10, Galatians 4:4) in the fullness of time. When you are driving along in your car, do you bitterly resent a red light because it impedes your progress or are you thankful that it protects your safety.
Think – remember – consider – your safety depends on God’s perfect timing - - the FULNESS of times when everything is totally prepared and perfectly right.
A wicked, hateful, strong-willed woman and she had a plan. Hatred raged in her head and gave birth to a plan for murder. She had a plan.
A man – exhausted, depressed and frightened out of his wits. He had a plan.
God won a tremendous victory through Elijah when the fire fell and the people (1 Kings 18:38-40) killed the priests and prophets of Baal. Then weak-willed wimpy Ahab went whining home (1 Kings 19:1-2) to tell strong-willed Jezebel who was ready and eager to take over. She sent a threatening message to Elijah, assuring him that he would be history within 24 hours. What did victorious Elijah do? He was terrified and ran for his life – over 80 miles on foot. Then he went further into a wilderness – not a tree-filled forest, a desert with only 1 juniper tree. He had a plan. He asked God to take his life. Notice the sweet gentleness of God. No rebuke (1 Kings 19:7) but rest, refreshment and understanding. 40 days later he is holed up in a cave and the Lord asked him what he was doing there. He repeated his whole litany of self-pity. After the terrifying demonstrations of God’s power – great wind – earthquake – fire – there was “a sound of gentle stillness and a still small voice” (aren’t those beautiful words?). The Lord’s plan was not the death of Elijah but to send him back to work (1 Kings 19:15-16) because there was more to be done. Elijah had said in his self-pity that he was the only one left but God told him there were (1 Kings 19:18) 7000 who had never bowed to Baal.
Jezebel had a plan to kill Elijah but God had already planned (1 Kings 19:21-23, 2 Kings 9:35) that the dogs would eat Jezebel.
After Elijah called fire DOWN from heaven, he had a plan to ask God to take his life, but God had already planned that Elijah would not die but (2 Kings 2:11) go UP to heaven in a chariot of fire.
A concrete block in your path can be a blockage or a stepping stone. Obstacles are those terrible things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
There was another guy who had some plans. Judah planned to make some money so it was his idea (Genesis 37:16-27) to sell Joseph.
Dr. David Jeremiah points out an important aspect of God’s overall plan. (Genesis 37:36) – God needed a man He would trust in Egypt in order to (Genesis 38:1) get His people away from heathen Canaanites. Judah paid no attention to God’s laws. He planned his friendship among Canaanites (Genesis 38:12) and married a Canaanite woman. The first of 2 of their 3 sons were so wicked (VS.5,7,10) that God killed them. Before that the first son married Tamar. You know the story. Judah made a promise to Tamar but planned to break it for fear of Shelah’s death. Then came sheep shearing time. The work was over and all the ranch hands headed off to the bar for wine, women and song.
Judah was now a widower and planned to go with his friend to join the wild party. Tamar heard about his plans and made her own plans to deceive him. She disguised herself as a harlot, waited by the road for him and enticed him. She was crafty enough to get a pledge from him which clearly identified him. Her father-in-law became the unwitting father of her twins. When they were going to execute her she presented Judah’s pledge. Did an overwhelming sense of his sin and folly awaken Judah? He said (Genesis 38:26) she is more righteous than I. Did the Lord do something within him? Because we see a different Judah when he told his father (Genesis 43:8-9) I will be security for Benjamin and if I don’t bring him back, let me bear the blame forever. His concern for his Dad was greater than for himself.
When the cup was found (Genesis 44:12) in Benjamin’s sack it was not the old Judah who said (Genesis 44:16, Genesis 44:33) let me remain in his stead or it will kill my father. Doesn’t this move our hearts in response to this self-sacrificing love? Why does the transformed Judah touch us so deeply? Because from (Luke 3:33) the tribe of Judah came the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world. He also had a plan of total self-sacrifice - - to give Himself for us in order to give Himself to us in order to live Himself through us.
It is wisdom to commit all our times and plans to the control of the only ONE who knows the end from the beginning.