February 4, 2006
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Destiny - Part 1
by Jack Northart
Fate and destiny are two words that are indelibly etched into the fabric of our world. Many, if not all religions teach people about fate and destiny. This includes many denominations within Christianity.
The origins of this belief system are traced back long ago in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. In Greek culture it was and is personified by the three Moirae (called the Parcae by the Romans). In Greek mythology, the white-robed Moirae or the "Apportioners", often called the Fates, were the personifications of destiny. They controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal and immortal from birth to death and beyond. Even the mythological gods feared the Moirae. Zeus himself was subject to their power, as the Pythian priestess at Delphi once admitted.
The modern definitions of the word, "destiny" are: 1) The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot. 2) A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control. 3) The power or agency thought to predetermine events.
There are some questions we must honestly ask ourselves about this subject. Are we subject to fate and destiny, no matter what we do? Are Christians subject to fate and destiny just as are other pagan unbelievers? Has God charted a life for everyone to live and if we stray outside that charted course, are we doomed to failure, exile and defeat? Are we merely puppets on a string, destined by God to do ONE thing in this life?
Let's start with a clean slate and set out to find out what the Bible says about this subject.
God is Omniscient, meaning, that He is all-knowing. He knows the end of matters before they begin. Since God has foreknowledge, He can make certain determinations about things. Such is the life of each believer, because He could foreknow what our decision was going to be when we accepted Christ, He could predetermine that He was going to bless us.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Since God has foreknowledge, He could predetermine what He would do for those who would one day be born again. He predestined us because He could foreknow us, rather than picking and choosing a specific "destiny" for every human on the planet Earth. He knew that if we heard His call, we would respond. Therefore, He called us. Since we responded favorably toward God, He therefore justified us. After we were justified, He glorified us.God did not over ride man's free will, He simply made a plan for those who accept His offer. He didn't posses us or force us into conformity with His will.
Let us illustrate this principle further. If a person is planning to have a Bible fellowship in their home on a Sunday evening, there are several things that need to be done to prepare for it. The teaching has to be prepared. The song books can be laid out. Seating and lighting has to be set properly to make people comfortable. Perhaps coffee and tea are made. No one is forcing or possessing anyone to come to the fellowship, but knowing that someone will come, proper arrangements are made ahead of time. People decide on their own if they are going to this home fellowship.
In the Old Testament, there is a record of a king who was on his deathbed. God had told the prophet Isaiah to go to tell the king that he was going to die. Usually, when God tells someone what is going to happen, it happens. In this record, we see that something different happened after the king is told that he is going to die.
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
That sounds pretty terminal. One could say that Hezekiah's number was up because of what the prophet had told him. He could have accepted his "fate" and just made peace with the fact that he was going to die. However, that is not what he chose to do.
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
The king made a free will decision to do something about the news he had just heard. He decided to pray to God.
Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
That must have been excellent news to Hezekiah! Not only did God heal him, but he also added fifteen years to his life. Hezekiah's decision to pray and ask the Lord to remember the good things he had done in his life paid off with big dividends. Since he decided to pray, his life and the lives of those around him changed for the better, because God healed him and delivered the city out of the hand of the king of Assyria. Had Hezekiah been a firm believer in fate and destiny rather than in prayer and believing, none of this would have happened. God honored his request.
We will further examine this subject of "destiny" in God's Word in Part 2 of this series.
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