God is the ultimate planner. There is no way God could not have a plan. Everything God does is intentional. God always knows what is going to happen next. Everything God does works out the way he envisioned. Nothing takes God by surprise. We see our own lives as the result of the cards we were dealt along with how we play our hand. Not so with God. God dealt the cards. He invented the deck. Everything God does is intentional. He always has a plan.
God’s purpose is eternal but God manifests that plan in different ways in different eras. In ancient Israel, God’s purpose was to rescue his people from exile and restore them to their own land. In that time the people could see God’s plan in general terms. They could not see the details. They knew that God had promised them redemption but they did not know how. That was not sufficient for them. They failed to trust God and resisted his purpose.
In our era, in like manner, we can discern God’s purpose only in general terms. We don’t know how God is going to use the nations of the world, or when. We only know that the gospel will eventually be preached to all nations, and all who believe will be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and one day God’s kingdom will come. For now, we would be wise to do what ancient Israel failed to do. We would be wise to trust God.
Over the next four weeks we will talk about living with purpose. In our sermon this Sunday, we begin the series by talking about not our purpose, but God’s purpose.