50. Proposition 9
This is a challenge. People do not admit that they are subject to time and chance. They think it is unfair. This is the subject we all get wrong. And yet we are given enough information to get it right. It is just that we do not accept the truth about these things. Why do you think the prophecy of Psalm 91:11-12 was given?
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
This verse is quoted by the men who came to Jesus and asked him to prove to them that he was the son of God. They said in Matthew 4: 6 “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and,
‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
God gave his angels a charge concerning him to keep him in ALL his ways, so he might not even damage his toe. Why was this charge given? The Lord knew what it meant, and that is why he said to the Pharisees when they came to warn him that Herod wanted to kill him. Luke 13: 32 “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ 33 Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.”
They did not want to warn him, they were testing him to see what he would do. The Lord said there is nothing Herod can do to threaten me, because God has determined the time, and the angels will ensure nothing happens to me before then. I must walk through the land of Palestine for three years and nothing will cut it short. Besides, he says, with an air of irony in his voice, prophets are not killed outside Jerusalem.
God gave that remarkable charge to Messiah’s angels concerning him. Are we going to claim the same charge has been given about us? It has not. So do not expect to be protected from time and chance by the angels who encamp around, because that is not their role.
He is going to deal with this and leave us in no doubt. This is a fascinating proposition covering thirty six points of issue, all of which are examples of the way you can limit the ravages of time and chance. All the things we imagine ought to apply according to law, no longer apply. Time and chance can rob you of your due. So clearly you cannot be held responsible for things you cannot control. Then what do you do?
First you try to lessen the affects of time and chance by avoiding those things that put you at risk. Next you apply wisdom to all tasks to ensure energy efficient methods are used. This means you are not a spent force when energy is wanted. Next you build friendships and associations that will protect you in the bad times. Extend yourself for others and they will look kindly on you when you are in trouble. Do not procrastinate. Become a decision maker. What if it is a wrong decision? It is the best one you could make at the time. If it goes wrong, fix it. But do not be afraid of making an error, as if it will be your first. Everyone makes errors; it is just that successful people know how to fix them.
What we are talking about now are all examples of time and chance?
11 I returned and saw under the sun that—
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.