It is often hard to understand why God chooses to do what he does when He decides to do it, but this week I taught my Sunday School class about the concept of the “fullness of time”. It’s the idea that God orchestrates situations and works everything together ultimately for good, and when the circumstances are just right, he acts. Like a plant that first starts out as a seed, then with water and sunlight it begins to grow and in the fullness of time, bears fruit.
400 years went by between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. Why was God silent for so long? What took so long for God to act in sending the Messiah to the world? The “What’s In the Bible” video curriculum is really great at explaining it because it puts every lesson in context with the bigger story of God’s plan. In this case, it uses history. In order for God to get word out to all the world of his rescue plan for us, we needed a common language, roads and peace, three things that were lacking in the ancient world. Along comes Alexander the Great who conquers the entire known world without losing one battle and he decides to spread Greek language and culture throughout his Empire, creating a common language. Cue the Romans who take over Alexander’s empire upon his premature death at 32, and they decide to build roads connecting the entire Roman Empire. They also focus on keeping the peace during this time, which came to be known as the “Pax Romana” or Roman Peace. The world was finally ready for God’s rescue plan to be easily spread.
Life is like that for us too. So many times we can be waiting for so long for something to happen for us and nothing seems to be happening. Often God is using our experiences to mold us and shape us for a greater purpose which we will accomplish in the fullness of time.