The Divine Plan in Human Affairs
Galatians 4:4-5
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,…

This remarkable expression, "the fulness of the time," is with a slight variation elsewhere used by St. Paul. He calls the gospel, when writing to the Ephesians, "the dispensation of the fulness of times"; and it is easy to see that in both cases he really means by "fulness" that which fulfils or finishes; he means the arrival of a given hour or moment which completes an epoch — the hour which thus makes its appointed measure and brings it to a close. It was in a like sense that our Lord and His apostles used the word "hour," as marking a particular point in His life, determined in the counsels of God (John 2:4; John 4:21; John 5:25; John 7:6; John 13:1; Matthew 26:45) All such language is only understood when we bear in mind that that succession of events which, looking at it from a human point of view, we call "time," is distributed upon a plan eternally present to the Divine mind, and that particular persons or particular characters are assigned, by this eternal plan, their predestinated place in the succession. "To everything," says the wise man, "there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven." All the lesser incidents of our separate lives are really arranged in a preconcerted order. There is a fulness of time at which, and not before, we can understand particular truths or can undertake particular duties, because for these truths or these duties all that has preceded has been a preparation. "My time," we may say in this sense, too, "is in Thy hand." And this is peculiarly true of that last awful moment which awaits us all, and for which all that precedes it is one varied preparation — the moment of death. And in like manner it is true, generally, of those whom the world recognizes as its great men, that each appears in the fulness of time; each has his predestined hour, which he may not anticipate. He is in some sense the ripe product of the ages of thought, and feeling, and labour, which have elapsed before he comes: and that he should come when he does is just as much willed by the providence of God, as that he should be born at all. So it is with writers, with artists, with statesmen, even with discoverers and inventors. When such men as these are said to be before their age, it is only meant that the age has not yet taken its own true measure, and that they surprise it by a discovery. They really appear, one and all of them, in the fulness of time.

(Canon Liddon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

WEB: But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law,

The Character of the Messiah
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