God acts at his appointed time. Since the beginning of the human story, God has been making promises and acting at his appointed time to fulfill them.
The words appointed time always bring to mind one of my favorite biblical friends, Abram. He and his wife Sarai were aged and childless when the Lord called him to leave his home and kinfolks for a land he would show him. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).
As Abram followed, the Lord appeared to him again saying, “To your offspring I will give this land” (12:7).
Again the Lord repeated the promise. “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you” (13:14-17).
Who can blame Abram for wondering how this could happen? Did he think God was unaware the promise sounded impossible? Finally he states the obvious—addressing the elephant in the room.
“You have given me no children” (15:3). Abram suggested the promise be fulfilled through his servant, Eliezer (his rightful heir, according to custom).
Have you noticed God prefers doing things his way? He told Abram “a son coming from your own body will be your heir” (verse 4).Have you noticed God prefers doing things his way? Click To Tweet
Then he restated the promise. “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them…So shall your offspring be’” (verse 5).
Abram’s response: he “believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (15:6).
Verse 18 says, “…the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land…”
Next came a shocking interruption. Sarai crafted a plan to help God a bit, suggesting that Abram have a child with her maidservant, Hagar. Abram agreed, and when he was eighty-six his son Ishmael was born. But he was not the promised son.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers…You will be the father of many nations’” (Genesis 17:1-2).
The Lord changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s to Sarah.
“I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her” (17:16).
Abraham did what any rational person would do. He fell facedown, laughed, and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (verse 17).
To God he said, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” The Lord promised to bless Ishmael and make him fruitful. But “your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him…my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year” (see 17:18-22).
Again the Lord appeared to Abraham saying, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son” (18:10).
When Sarah—well beyond the age of childbearing—heard this, she laughed to herself.
“Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son’” (18:13-14).
That’s my favorite part…at the appointed time.
Genesis 21 begins, “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.”God put all the puzzle pieces together to complete his plan—at just the right moment. He’s been doing that throughout history. Click To Tweet
God appointed the time and he put all the puzzle pieces together to complete his plan—at just the right moment. He’s been doing that throughout history.
The omniscient, all-powerful Lord God Most High is involved in the universe he created. No one else is able to keep up with it all. Knowing he’s in control and will act at his appointed time allows me to rest.
Please tell me how God showed up in your life at his appointed time. And share this with friends who are waiting for promises to be fulfilled.
© Dianne Barker 2019.
Scriptures from NIV.