May 29, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
“And it came to pass…” is found 396 times in the King James Version of the Bible! It is translated in other versions as “it happened, when, just before, now,” and a few other phrases. But as I was considering “And it came to pass…,” it occurred to me that there is another significant meaning! And for this blog, I would like to concentrate on this alternative meaning.
One of the first uses of this phrase is found in Genesis 7:10 in reference to Noah’s flood. I chose this incident because it was perhaps the most catastrophic event in the history of the world! Here is Genesis 7:10-12:
And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were
upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second
month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains
of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were
opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
The flood lasted more than forty days and forty nights. That was just the number of days that it rained! Noah and his family were confined in the ark about 371 days – over a year! Finally, it was done! But I wonder what those eight people inside the ark (see Genesis 7:13; I Peter 3:20) were feeling and saying during those 371 days? “Is this flood ever going to end? ” “It has been months and months and months!” “Are we going to be here in this ark forever?” But it did end! And, according to Genesis 8:13 through 19, eventually, Noah, his family, and all the animals, birds, and reptiles left the ark to live on dry land! So, even though the flood was massive and of long duration, “…it came to pass…”! God planned it and sent it to happen! But He also intended to have it pass! So, yes, it came! But it also passed!
Back when I was about six years old, my older brother George whacked me over the head with a book. I developed a headache shortly thereafter, and it only got worse as time went on! Our doctor was called, and he examined me at our house. The diagnosis? I had encephalitis – an inflamation of the brain! I later learned that there had recently been an outbreak in New Jersey which, the doctor told us, “…was killing nine out of ten of those afflicted, and the one who survived often suffered brain damage.” My brother did not cause the encephalitis! He actually saved my life because the book pounding brought out the first symptoms early – severe headaches – and our doctor was able to treat me! But it was a long haul – well over a month! That is a long time for a six year old! But It Came To Pass! And after more than a month of recuperation, I remember the Spring day when I was let out of the house. I walked half a mile down the country road where we lived on our family farm, and I went into the woods a short distance. Sitting down beside a brook on the bank, I recall thinking, “How great it is to be outside again! How beautiful all this around me is! ” It was so good to have it all pass! By the way, the only damage I suffered was some slowing down of my reaction time, which corrected itself over the next couple of years.
What are you going through? Are you experiencing a severe trial? Some of the hard things that life throws at you can seem overpowering and never-ending. But God is in control! And what He allows to touch your life is designed to test you for just a season – And It Came To Pass!
• Yes, it Came. It has affected your life and the lives of your family – sometimes in a very significant way!
• But (and my daughter has this sign hanging in her bathroom!) “This too shall pass!” God does not let the trials go on forever!
However, you might say, “The doctors say that I am not going to get well. I only have a relatively short time left on this earth! How then has what I am experiencing Come To Pass? ” This morning, as I and my prayer partner met for our regular sessions of supplication, intercession, and thanksgiving (see Philippians 4:6), he shared concerning (and we prayed for) both his wife’s sister and sister-in-law. Each one is near death. They have each battled cancer a long time and the end is near. Do they lose out because they were not healed during this earthly life? No! They are both Christians and will experience God’s complete and eternal healing very soon!
Dear one, think of Saint Paul who suffered prison with no release in sight. As a matter of fact, his last imprisonment in Rome ended when he was taken out and beheaded under orders from Emperor Nero! But here is what he wrote to his spiritual son Timothy just before he was killed:
…the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I
have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up
for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge,
will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have
loved His appearing. (II Timothy 4:6 through 8).
As he also said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Yes, even those hard trials that end in our death or the death of a loved one – they only come To Pass!
And It Came (yes, it did!) To Pass… (yes, it will!)! Hang in there!