Short Meds in Getting Ready in Covid-Advent: 5. Chance
Lk 1:9 “he was chosen by lot.”
Only once in their lifetime – and for some it never happened – was a priest allowed to go in and burn this incense in a most solemn action before God; it was thus a privilege enjoyed by few and once they had done it they were knowns as “rich and holy”. There were probably up to twenty thousand priests (direct descendants of Aaron) serving in 24 divisions. The odds of being called were therefore quite small, which takes us into the realms of ‘chance’.
Chance in the world becomes providence with God. Chance is about random happenings; providence is about the hidden hand of God working His purposes. In the light of all that followed and what we have said so far about Zechariah, this was not chance but providence, this was God causing his name to be chosen, the hidden hand of God at work and there are several things to be noted as a result.
First, there’s the problem, it is hidden, we can’t see it, but it is there and ‘coincidences’ do happen that prove to have great significance. Christians are very comfortable usually with accepting ‘coincidences’ in their lives but I wonder how many times chance should have been seen as providence, the hidden hand of God moving?
Second, providence is a sign of God who initiates acts of blessing on our behalf. Many of us, struggling with low spiritual self-esteem struggle with the fact that God is seeking to bless His people all the time. Consider, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father,” (Jas 1:17) and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Rom 8:28) Aren’t these indicators of the love and goodness of God towards us? Providence is simply the hidden hand of God working on our behalf and for his purposes. Amazing! Third, the other thing about such things is that you can’t see them coming, so when they do come we can miss the significance of them until the fruits of them reveal, “It’s the Lord!” (Jn 21:7) I don’t believe God made Covid-19 but I do believe He has been working into this effect of the fallen world, just like He worked into the life of this couple, and He is working into our lives in these days, whether we are aware of it or not. We need the Lord to reveal to us the wonder of His activity on our behalf. Let’s ask for our eyes to be opened, to realize more fully what He has done in our lives thus far, and what He has on His heart for us for our future days perhaps. Yes, we are to live by faith and not by sight, but faith is responding to what we hear, perhaps after we’ve asked.