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Divine Coincidence


G. K. Chesterton once observed, “Coincidences are spiritual puns.” In other words, what we view as coincidence may be God’s intervention in our life. Today’s passage describes a series of coincidences in Saul’s life that turned out to be divine appointments. We also get a glimpse into this future king’s character.

Saul’s appearance was striking. He was tall and “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel” (v. 2). He was also a son of privilege. Saul’s father was “a man of standing” (v. 1). After an unfruitful three-day search for his father’s lost donkeys, Saul suggested that they call it off. Saul’s decision began a series of divine coincidences that led to an encounter with God’s prophet. Saul just happened to decide to end the search near the town where Samuel lives. They arrived on a day and at the time when Samuel was about to officiate an important sacrifice. They ran into a group of women who could tell them where to find the prophet. There were too many coincidences for it to be anything but a divine appointment.

Indeed, verse 15 indicates that none of this was accidental. God had orchestrated the whole thing to move His plan forward. But there were also storm clouds on the horizon. The fact that Saul did not know anything about Samuel, combined with his reluctance and passivity, was a foreshadowing of the kind of king he would eventually become. On the surface, Saul looked like the perfect choice for a king. He had a strong pedigree. What they could not know was that Saul was deficient in faith.

>> What may appear to be a happy coincidence in your life could actually be God’s divine intervention. This is another reason to place our full confidence in God: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5–6).

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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