Time and Chance

Time and Chance

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (boldface mine)

I want you to know how you can have “time and chance” happen to you. Let me show you what the original Hebrew language reveals about how this can be your reality.

The Hebrew word for “time” is the word eth, meaning time or season. The Hebrew words for “chance happen” are pega qarah. Together with eth, they present a picture not of random occurrences, but “right happenings” that are dependent on the Lord’s orchestration. It’s unfortunate that the word “chance” is used in the English translation. When you read “time and chance happen to them all,” it gives the impression of random happenings, occurrences that happen as if by “luck.”

But if you study the root of the word pega in the Scriptures, you’ll see it is from the word paga, which actually means to make intercession or pray. Let me introduce to you at this point a principle of Bible interpretation called the law of first mention. When you are studying a word, look at the first time it appears in the Bible. There is a lot of spiritual truth and significance in the first occurrence of the word in the Bible.

Applying this principle to the word paga, we see in the Bible that the first time it is used is in Genesis 23:8 (NIV), where it means “intercede.” The same word is also used in Isaiah 53:12 where it says the Lord “made intercession for the transgressors” (boldface mine).

The other Hebrew word, qarah, is often used in other parts of the Bible to explain God-ordained happenings. So “chance happen” should more accurately be translated as “prayed opportunities” or “prayed happenings.” When you have eth and pega qarah combined here, it speaks of right-time, right-place happenings, or of being at the right place at the right time, doing the right thing as a result of prayer. What an amazing blessing to possess, which is simply triggered by coming to our loving Father in heaven and expressing our dependence on His protection over us and our families. I want this blessing activated every day, don’t you?

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This devotional is adapted from The Prayer of Protection Devotional. Find out more about the book here.

Read past devotionals on the Joseph Prince app.


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