Coincidence or Divine Providence: Acts 10:24-33
“24) On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25) When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26) But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” 27) As he talked with him, he entered and *found many people assembled. 28) And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. 29) That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me.” 30) Cornelius said, “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, 31) and he *said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32) Therefore send to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.’ 33) So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”” Acts‬ ‭10‬:‭24‬-‭33‬
I believe Gods leading often includes affirmation and confirmation. He actively works on both sides of the story bringing together people to hear the gospel and a messenger to preach the gospel. In this case, He used an angel, a visions, three messengers to go find Peter and very specific communication to Peter with three more visions which were exactly the same and the Spirit of God clearly speaking to him. All of this was wrapped in providential timing that tied everything together. I do not believe in luck or coincidence, I believe in Divine Providence.
Cornelius had been very active preparing for Peter’s arrival. He had gathered together many friends and relatives to his home. As a Centurion, he undoubtedly had some soldiers in attendance as well. The people were already assembled when Peter arrived.
The story is an example of how the Holy Spirit moves orchestrating events and meetings. This is the ultimate picture of strategic planning. When done in the flesh, it can be a waste of time. When prompted by the Holy Spirit it accomplishes Divine results. God does the planning. It is our job to listen, discern and obey. I can only imagine the conversation between Peter and his traveling companions as they journeyed. I am confident it was not wasted.
Living by faith and following the leading of the Holy Spirit results in God sized stories. He leaves His fingerprints on His works. I believe coincidence might be a surname for God. Learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Step out and take risks based on the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Listen, trust and obey.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of Goserv Global.