Listen:  142.4

First, let’s define what a coincidence is.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.  Now let’s look at a few scriptures that speak of things happening coincidentally.  Ruth 2:2-3says, “And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.”  In the story of the Good Samaritan, we read this in Luke 10:30-31, “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.” 

Does this mean that some things do happen by coincidence, or chance, or blind luck?  How does this compare with Isaiah 46:9-10which says, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”?  From the human perspective, it does seem that some events occur simply by chance.  We go shopping and run into an old friend.  We dial a wrong number by mistake and make a new friend.  We are late in arriving at the airport only to find our flight has been delayed.  Are these simply coincidences or is the Lord working in the background to “do all His pleasure”?

In both of the occurrences mentioned at the outset, it seemed like these things happened by chance.  Ruth just happened to glean grain in the field of Boaz.  The priest just happened to pass by the wounded man on the way to Jericho.  When we consider the truth of Isaiah 46:9-10, we realize that ‘man’s coincidence is really God’s purpose.’  It was not good luck, but divine intervention that led Ruth to Boaz’s field.  It was no accident that the priest walked the road to Jericho after the man was beaten and left for dead.  No, his presence there was a type to show us how useless the law is in saving souls.  The Lord absolutely declares, or announces, the end from the beginning.  Proverbs 19:21tells us, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”  The counsel of the Lord cannot be stopped or compromised!  It’s easy to see that both of these occurrences were ordained of the Lord.

When I was a young child, my family moved from Georgia to North Carolina.  There, I grew up, went to school, and met the girl I would eventually marry.  After we were married and had our first child, my family moved back to Georgia.  Coincidence?  No, it was definitely the providential care of the Lord to bring me to North Carolina to meet and marry the one who would be my help-meet, my partner in life, my Christian companion.  That is evidenced in the long and wonderful life we have had together, raising six children, all of whom have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.  Mine is just one example that shows that the Lord is always working, sometimes behind the scenes to accomplish His perfect will.

Is the Lord involved in even the tiniest events in our lives?  Let’s consider the Lord’s meticulous knowledge of and involvement in our lives as we see in Matthew 10:29-30, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”  Not one bird falls without His knowledge.  Every hair on your head is numbered by the Lord.  This shows how thorough the Lord is in His knowledge of us.  Surely His involvement in our lives is just as thorough…leaving nothing to chance, but fulfilling His purposes in us.  (142.4)