Friday, December 14, 2012

In the Fullness of Time

I sat at my desk yesterday, working on a new piece to post here today, while family life swirled around me. The grandbaby was squawking, my son was trying to find a bootie for the dog's still-healing foot so he could take him snowshoeing, and my head was threatening to explode as I tried to keep track of it all. I escaped upstairs to iron the clothes I needed to wear for caroling last evening, and while I ironed, I decided to scrap the new post—which was turning out as disjointed as my afternoon—and enjoy the grandbaby and the wonderful winter weather.

So here's all I've got: an advent piece I wrote several years ago. We view the incarnation from the already-accomplished side of God's plan—and how blessed we are! This is a brief look from the other side, as God's glorious plan played out in redemption history.

In eternity past, prior to his first creative command, God had a plan for the history of his creation. At the very centre of his plan was His own Son, foreordained to redeem humankind from the ruinous results of sin. That God’s own Son would come as Redeemer was at the heart of God’s purposeful will—the plan that he invariably works in all things to accomplish.

It was a glorious plan, but a plan yet to be revealed and a plan yet to unfold in history.  And then, piece by piece, God’s word revealed his purpose, and piece by piece, his command brought it to pass.

We have a hint of God’s redemptive plan in the curse of the serpent: “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The plan is there in his promise to Abraham: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

It was according to his plan that God brought his people into captivity in Egypt and then raised up Moses as God's agent of redemption to bring them out from slavery, foreshadowing—anticipating—the greater Redeemer to come. The plan is there, too, when God gave the law—the perfect law written in stone, the perfect law that no one could keep, the perfect law that held people captive under a curse. It was this perfect law that showed the need for the great Redeemer to come. In all this, piece by piece, God’s word was revealing his purpose, and piece by piece, his command was bringing it to pass.

The prophets of old spoke, not according to their own will, but according to God’s plan, carried along by the disclosing work of the Holy Spirit, and moved by him to record those prophecies for us. God’s perfect plan raised up Isaiah, who prophesied of a virgin who would conceive a son whose name would be “God is with us.” God’s Spirit set Jeremiah apart from his mother’s womb to be a prophet to the nations, to reveal the coming new covenant when God’s perfect law would be written on his people’s hearts. These prophets, too, were pieces of the plan, teaching God's people to expect the day when their great Redeemer would come. Yes, piece by piece, God’s word was revealing his purpose, and piece by piece his command was bringing it to pass.

And then the counsel of his will called for the fulfillment of his promise. It was the right time according to his purposeful plan; it was the perfect time for everything to change.

It was the fullness of time.


  1. Thank you, Rebecca. I'll be sharing this with my high school Sunday School class tomorrow. It's what I'm presenting to's good for them to see it explained by someone besides myself. Copied word for word and attributed to you, of course.

  2. I'm happy you'll be using it, Whitestone.

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