The two men were from Kerala State in India, and came to Central Baptist Seminary in Toronto to study during my years there. We delighted in their happy Christian manner. Among the many great discussions we had about Scripture, I recall them telling us that in their language (Malayalam), Galatians 4:4 conveyed the idea of God sending His Son “…in the nick of time…”.
It will not matter which translation or language we read this verse in, the idea is the same. It was the very best time for Jesus to come into His own creation to do the work of redeeming His people.
What evidence do we have of the time being just right for the Saviour to come into His creation?
I can think of several. First, the Romans had developed a road system to take travellers to the far reaches of the Roman Empire. So, Christian missionaries had excellent access to the population and trade centers to spread the Good News.
Then, the universal language was Greek, so writing the New Testament in the popular Greek language meant that the majority of literate people could read the message concerning Christianity.
Next, with missionaries like Paul being Roman citizens, they had easy access to the whole Roman Empire to spread the Gospel. Also, the Roman Empire had a postal system available to the public, so churches and individual Christians anywhere could communicate with each other.
So, when God fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies—concerning His Son’s first coming—He did it at exactly the right moment in time. Never does the Lord miscue or act at the wrong time. For many hundreds of years prophecy after prophecy was given, from Genesis 3 to Malachi. Then, for 400 long, dreary years—nothing but silence.
So the sudden outburst when John the Baptist begins to preach—followed by the great crowds attending his cousin’s preaching—the Jewish nation is buzzing with religious fervor. Everyone wanted to know if this was the long awaited Messiah.
Does the Lord seem to be waiting too long to come to your rescue? Are you impatient with the Lord today? Remember, God’s timing is always perfect.
The first Advent was indeed “in the nick of time”. Your personal deliverance will also be at just the right moment. Wait and see.
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
- Charles Wesley