November 29, 2021

Advent 2021 - The Fulness of the Time

 Devotion for  the Week...

It's the first Sunday of Advent! Do you have your tree up yet? We always put ours up the first weekend of December, so we don't yet, but I've been seeing more and more decorated trees popping up on my social media feeds. I love getting to see how other people decorate for Christmas.

This Advent season I'm going to be sharing devotions that focus on God's timing. Galatians 4:4-5 say, "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." That's in the New Living Translation. In the more famous King James Version, verse 4 starts off, "But when the fulness of the time was come." There's something beautiful about the phrase the fulness of the time, isn't there?

Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah about 700 years before Jesus was born. That's a long time for the people to Israel to have waited! So what made Mary's day the right time, compared to the hundreds of years that had already passed? Unfortunately, the Bible doesn't tell us what the criteria were for choosing the time of Jesus' birth.

One theory is that God waited for the arrival of the Roman Empire. The Romans created peace that allowed for travel between many places, which allowed the gospel to spread quickly and easily. There was also a common working language that was understood by people in many different places, which would have allowed Christians to share their good news without being hampered by language barriers.

I was amused once to hear someone say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because the Roman emperor was getting low on funds, prompting him to call for a census so he could get more tax revenue. Was the state of the emperor's budget part of God's criteria for the right time?

Those are only human speculation, of course. Maybe the right time had more to do with Mary and her willing spirit or with things we know nothing about. Only God knows what made that time the right time. 
You can't rush the fulness of the time |
The same truth applies to situations in our everyday lives, too. Is there something you've been waiting for? Maybe you've been waiting and praying for so long it feels like it has been 700 years. Whatever it is, God knows when the right time will be for the answer to come. We know when we want things to happen (now, please!), but God is waiting for His criteria to be met so that He answers at the right time.

You can't rush the fulness of the time, whether it's for healing for your loved one or salvation for the entire world.

1 comment:

  1. Lots to think about... - We so badly want things when WE want them - and patience isn't my strong suit! But, as the saying goes, "Good things come to those who wait" - so I'll keep waiting. Thankfully, God doesn't forget His promises!


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