Reading: My times are in thy hand. Psalm 31:15

Consider the timing of David’s return to Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:1). While David and his men were in the camp of Achish, the Amalekites took advantage of their absence, fell on the unprotected city of Ziklag, burned it, and carried captive all the women and children. The husbands knew nothing of this, but the Lord did, and He had designs of mercy toward them.

Their case appeared hopeless, but appearances are often deceptive. God had already set in motion the means for their deliverance. God’s timing is impeccable; unlike us, He is never too early or too late. Had David and His men been discharged by Achish a week sooner, they would have been on hand to defend Ziglag, and a great chastening and blessing would have been missed. Had they returned home a week later, they may have been too late to recover their little ones from being sold or slaughtered. Admire the timeliness of God’s freeing David from the Philistines. Notice how that in maintaining perfect timing God graciously overrules our faults for the good. David should never have been in Ziklag. And then being in Ziklag, he should never have left to go and serve Achish. But even so God sanctifies unto David his failure and fall and gains the glory for Himself and grants protection unto His child.

The Lord knows best when to deliver me out of my own folly and mistakes. He knows best how to sanctify to my good every situation in life. Let me be thankful that “my times are in

[His] hand.” My times of staying, moving forward, prosperity, adversity, fellowship with saints, isolation and loneliness—each and all are ordered by the Lord. Nothing is more quieting and stabilizing to the soul than the realization that everything is ordained by omniscience and ordered by divine love: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! … his ways [are] past finding out!” (Romans 11:33).

Let us not think it strange if thus deserted, but make sure of a Friend in heaven who will not fail. God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. —Matthew Henry