A very comforting phrase is repeated in the book of Daniel, which is “…at the appointed time.” This same phrase should cause those who are not ready for God’s judgment to quake in their shoes. However, for those who are ready and waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus, we should be comforted when we read such words as in Daniel 11:27.
“As for both kings, their hearts will be intent on evil, and they will speak lies to each other at the same table; but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time.”
The great comfort of such words is found in the fact that the One who appoints the time is trustworthy, righteous, and loving. He is trustworthy because He always keeps His word. He always keeps His word because He is righteous or always does the right thing. His behavior is determined by Himself, nothing external tells Him what to do but He is good because He determines to be so. He is also trustworthy because He is all powerful and nothing and no one can thwart His purposes.
The God of Israel is the God who makes choices according to His sovereign will and carries them through to completion. He chose to make Abraham into a great nation by whom He would give the law, the prophets, the covenants, and the savior of all those who believe in Him. The God who chose Abraham also chose to send the Gospel to all nations to save people from every tongue, tribe, language, and people group.
God always accomplishes His purposes. So when the time had come for Jesus to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for the sins of men, that is exactly what He did. The plans and feelings of those who planned His death were totally overruled by the sovereign hand of God. We read in Mark 14:1,2 that the leaders did not want to seize Jesus during the festival because they feared the people. Jesus made sure that God’s plan was carried out to the letter and that included being crucified on the day of Passover, as He was thee appointed Passover lamb.
“Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; for they were saying, "Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people."
It is ironical that it is said of Judas, “And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.” The time was of God and not of Judas. Judas made choices to his own destruction, and they all fulfilled God’s holy plan. In verses 14-16, Jesus’ disciples are told to follow a man carrying a pitcher of water, and to say to the owner of the house where he entered, “’The Teacher says, "Where is My guest room…” That was the method of finding the correct room. Jesus did not want Judas to come for Him ahead of schedule, so He hid from Judas the place of their meeting. Even in His humanity Jesus was completely in control.
Do you understand that Jesus is completely in control and that there is nothing that you can do to stop what He has planned. The best thing that any human being can ever do is to get into step with the purposes of God. The only way to do the will of God in a way that is pleasing to Him is to accept His Son. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to bow the knee and acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord of creation, and of your life. If you are a believer then understand afresh that Jesus is in control of the times and the seasons. Nothing can touch you that God has not ordained, and He will do so for your ultimate good, both in time and in eternity.
I hope you all have a happy New Year!