The Herald Weekly Vol XVII : 19

Nothing Happens By Coincidence

 Two Christian brothers met with a motor accident, but it was not without a purpose. The MPV skidded on an icy road last winter, spun several times, tumbled off the tar road, and turned a few times on a slope before coming to a stop. The vehicle was badly damaged, but the driver and passenger escaped unscratched. The divine hand of the Lord was with them. It all happened in the dark hours of the night. It was reported that that part of the slippery road had also caused several other vehicles to skid and had claimed at least two lives on previous occasions. The MPV was wrecked beyond recognition, except for the engine which was left undamaged. As the engine was still in good condition, it was sent for reconstruction for a hefty sum. In God’s providence, a relative was moved to pay for the repairs, and bought each one of them an iphone as their previous ones were also damaged in the accident.

As Christians, we sometimes ask why accidents happen to even those who serve God faithfully. These two brothers in their twenties would have been discouraged. In my conversation with them, they are ever thankful to the Lord for preserving their lives, and for protecting them from harm. It took about two months before the MPV could be on the road again. It looked brand new, with good used doors to replace the old ones. There were few complaints, but much to thank the Lord even though the repairs took two months.

There may be times when some Christians wonder why God is not answering their earnest prayers. Did they ask amiss, and God did not respond? Or had God already answered, but they were not willing to accept? In Matt 7:7, Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” But, we must not forget that God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isa 55:8). Let us remember the occasion when the prophet Elijah prayed for God to send fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice which he had offered God on an alter drenched with water. We are told that God heard his prayer, and “the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench” (1 Kings 18:38). When Israel saw how Elijah’s God answered his prayer, the whole of Israel fell on their faces, and said, “The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God” (1 Kings 18:39).

But, immediately after this triumphant moment, the wicked Queen Jezebel ordered the death of prophet Elijah. And the prophet ran for his life! He ran from Mt Carmel to Beersheba, wondering why God did not deal with the evil Queen, and King Ahab who was spared from God’s judgement (1 Kings 19:14). Exhausted from the long run on rugged terrain, Elijah wanted to die. The prophet sat under a juniper tree, and he requested that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:4).

Why did God not answer the prophet Elijah’s prayer? As Elijah slept under the juniper tree, God sent an angel to minister to him. His hunger was met with cake baked on coals, and his thirst was quenched with a jar of water. After his physical needs were taken care of, God asked, “What does thou here, Elijah?” Elijah thus took the opportunity to remind God of all that he had done for God. “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1 Kings 19:9-10). It puzzled the prophet when he witnessed how a strong wind tore the walls of the mountain, with rocks falling off the cliff. He did not find God there. He also could not find God even after an earthquake. But out of the great commotion, the Almighty God spoke to the prophet Elijah in a still, small voice. After that, all of Elijah’s doubts and distaste for life disappeared.

Many times, we question God when things do not work out the way we want them to. We may also doubt our Christian brothers and sisters, and wonder if they had been praying for us. But God often speaks to us in similar ways that He did with the prophet Elijah. God was already answering his prayers, even though He seemed not to be doing so to the prophet himself. Perhaps, due to anxiety, frustration and vexation of the life, a person gets shaken up by whatever he is experiencing in life, and he has the notion that GOD IS SO FAR AWAY, or GOD DOES NOT CARE FOR ME. Let us remember the exhortation in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

We believe that nothing happens by chance or coincidentally because “all things work together for good to them who love God, and to them who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). With God, there are no coincidences. In the case of Ruth who returned to Israel with her mother-in-law, Naomi, her meeting with Boaz in his barley field was no coincidence. Her meeting with Boaz was in God’s plan. Boaz was God’s plan for Ruth to be saved from the famine, and through her, her mother-in-law also was taken care of. Through the line of Ruth and Boaz, came our Lord Jesus Christ. That was no coincidence. It was no accident that Abraham’s eldest servant met Rebecca when he was sent by his master to seek a bride for his master’s son, Isaac; nor was it a coincidence when Joseph’s brothers sold him to traders who brought him into Egypt. That Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem was not an accident, nor was it of coincidental circumstances. The birth place of Christ was long foretold many years before His birth took place.

Beloved, we have an omniscient (all-knowing) God who is omnipotent (all powerful). He is a God who created us, and cares for us. He orders the events of our life to fulfil His purpose. With God there is no coincidence. The circumstances in our life may seem to be unplanned and at random. But someday we will be able to see the order of God’s hand. Let us learn to surrender our all to Him, and allow His purpose be fulfilled in our lives.

Pastor Bob Phee
(1st printing 15 May 2011)

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