The Appointed Time Acts. 17:24-26

The Appointed Time Acts.17:24-26 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

When you consider world events, it is important to remember that God has set the appointed time for nations and events [Acts 17:26].  Certain things happen according to God’s timing and nothing or no one is going to change his timing.  In this sermon we will look at the appointed time of a couple of very important historical events to demonstrate that God had set the appointed time.  Then we will look at a few references to future events to see that they are on God’s clock, as well.  Then we will comment on the importance of God’s timing.

Notice these historical appointments:

The appointed time of the Exodus – this first appointment was revealed in Gen 15:13 – in this verse, God is referring to Egypt and the appointed time of the Exodus – to see that the Exodus took place exactly when God said that it would, we have to study a few passages of scripture – when Abraham was 75 years old [Gen 12:4], God promised Abraham that he would give his seed the land of Canaan [Gen 12:5-7] – in Gen 12:10, exactly 430 years before the Exodus, Abraham went down to Egypt, which is where his seed was afflicted before possessing the “promised” land [note: Abraham was born in 1996BC and he went down to Egypt in 1921BC] – in Gen 15:13-14 God told Abraham “thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs [Egypt]… and they shall afflict them 400 years” –  the first Egyptian to afflict Abraham’s promised seed was Ishmael in Gen 21:8-9 – Isaac would have been 5 years old at this time and Abraham would have been 105 years old [calculated from Gen 21:5] – the year was 1891BC exactly 400 years before the Exodus which took place in 1491BC – to confirm these, in Ex 12:40-41 we find that “the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years,” right down to “the selfsame day” – this is the exact time between the day of Abraham’s first sojourn in Egypt [1921BC] and the day of the Exodus [1491BC].

The appointed time of Judah’s captivity – in 2 Chr 36:19-21 we see that the Babylonian captivity was set to last 70 years in order for the land to enjoy “her Sabbaths” – and this is exactly how long their captivity lasted – Nebuchadnezzar invaded the first time in 606BC [2 Ki 24:1; Jer 25:1] – Cyrus gave the decree ending the Babylonian captivity in 536BC [Jer 25:11-12; 2 Chr 36:22-23].  You see that God keeps his appointments!

The reason for Israel’s captivity is that they had neglected seventy of the seventh year Sabbaths – according to the law, every seventh year the land was supposed to lay idle and enjoy a Sabbath of rest [Lev 25:4] – they quit observing this Sabbath beginning with the reign of Saul 490 years before the Babylonian captivity – evidently, under the rule of their kings, the Jews couldn’t afford to let the land rest [1 Sam 8:10-18].

As an interesting note, God had forgiven them 490 years, which is 70 times 7, the number of times the Lord told Peter that he should forgive a brother who sins against him [Matt 18:21-22] – though Judah was under the horrible reign of Manasseh, God didn’t accelerate the appointed time of the captivity and though Judah enjoyed good reigns under Hezekiah and Josiah, these men didn’t cause God to delay his judgment – they just allowed the citizens more peace and quiet until God judged the nation [1 Tim 2:2].

Now notice these future appointments:

The appointed time for 200,000,000 horsemen to ride – Rev 9:14-16 – God has this one timed right down to the hour of a very specific day.

The appointed time of “the end” – Dan 8:15-19, Dan 11:27 – the Bible often refers to “the end” which is the end of the Tribulation – this time is set.

The Antichrist will think to change the times – Dan 7:25, which is something only God can do Dan 2:19-21 [he did when Israel rejected Jesus and he did when Nineveh repented] – but God, in his sovereignty, had already taken these things into account – that way his plan works out precisely whether Israel, for instance, receives him after his resurrection or whether they reject him – God’s clock is set.

The appointed time of Jesus’ return – Matt 24:29-36 – the time of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is set right down to the hour.

The appointed time and season of Israel’s restoration – Acts 1:6-7 – by implication we see that even the restoration of Israel is set on God’s clock.  As Jesus said, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power.”  You don’t know.

Now notice that we can draw a sobering conclusion:

If God has his clock set for the United States of America, and you know that he does, then there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop God’s clock – when our iniquity is full, the timer goes off and that’s it – it surely appears that time is running out on the United States of America.

How does the fact that God has appointed times for nations affect you and me today?

We need to seriously:

  • Occupy – Lk 19:13 – that is you should continue to do that which God has given you to do for his glory – don’t hunker down.
  • Pray 1 Tim 2:1-3 – that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
  • Stand in righteousness – 1 Cor 15:58 – be steadfast and unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord – don’t turn away from your parents and don’t follow society in her sins.
  • Witness – Acts 1:8 – we are the ones with the truth and there are still many who need to hear the gospel – the way out for them is up!
  • Keep looking up – Tit 2:13 – Jesus is coming again!!
  • Not be surprised if our elected officials keep leading this country into apostasy, your worrying isn’t going to change a thing.