December 4: Right on Time

December 4: Right on Time

Excerpted from Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie

Most days we set specific times for when we will go to school, have piano lessons, or get picked up from our friend’s house. But sometimes there is not a specific time set for something, and we’re left waiting, wondering when the package will be delivered, when the plumber will arrive at our house, or when our ride is going to show up. We wonder if we’ve been forgotten.

By the time Jesus was born, the Jewish people had been waiting for hundreds of years for God to send his promised Messiah. It had been more than four hundred years since they had even heard God speak to them through one of his prophets about the Savior he would send. It seemed like God had stopped talking to them, and some people had grown weary of keeping up their hopes that God would come through for them. While they were waiting, the Romans occupied their country and ruled over them. This made them long even more for the great Deliverer God had promised.

Though it is hard to wait on God, and though it sometimes seems to us that God is slow, God’s timing is always perfect. He is never late. He always acts at just the right time.

God knew when the time was just right to send Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. He knew when the exact religious, cultural, and political conditions were in place. Paul wrote, “When the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4, emphasis added). You see, God is not making up plans as he goes. All the grand events of God’s plan for our redemption have been scheduled in advance, from Creation to the enslavement and exodus of God’s people from Egypt; to David’s taking the throne in Israel; to the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus; to the day when Jesus will return. Paul said that God “has set a day for judging the world” (Acts 17:31). The course and timing of history is not a mystery to God. Time is in his hands, and he will bring about his plans and purposes in our world and in our lives right on time.


You are the God of history and time is in your hands, so we know that you can be trusted to accomplish everything you intend in the world and in our lives in your perfect timing.

For more Advent devotions, visit Tyndale’s Online Advent Calendar here.