When Time Was Up
Originally published February 17, 2016
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law…”Galatians 4:4-5
Have you ever heard the expression, ‘your time is up’? It comes from the phrase immortalized in this verse in the King James Bible, “the fullness of the time.” Dictionary.com defines the phrase: “The period of time allowed for something is ended, as in Turn in your papers, students; time is up. This idiom uses up in the sense of “completed” or “expired,” a usage dating from about 1400 AD.” The word picture is that of an hourglass filling up with sand as the measurement of time runs out. Thus, when you are out of time, your time is up.
The weight of this verse cannot be fully felt until you understand what God revealed to Daniel soon after Israel was conquered and carried away into Babylon in 586 BC. God said, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24)
God then gave Daniel every day of the week for a year and then showed him what would happen in 69 weeks (483 years). So, the years from 453 BC -the command to build Jerusalem- to 30 AD, were all numbered, leaving only 7 short years on God’s timer.
The Bible refers to these years as the fullness of the Gentiles. The last 7 years are called the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” God gave, or allowed, man to run his world the way he wanted to without any word from heaven for more than 400 years. During this time the world saw the conquests of Alexander the Great, the establishment of the Roman Empire, the Maccabee revolution, and total silence from the Lord God as far as scripture is concerned.
Jehovah was finished with man.
He had placed a man in a perfect environment, where there was only one thing not to do and man blew it. He warned mankind of his awful power with a worldwide flood, and man ignored it. He rescued a nation of people from hard bondage and slavery by signs, wonders, and miracles, and they – along with the rest of the world – forgot it. He erected a fence, called the law, to keep his people safe, and they broke it. He spared kings and kingdoms from the judgment they deserved, postponing it for many centuries, and was blasphemed and hated still for it.
Yes, if anyone has ever lost patience with mankind, the Lord God was certainly fed up. And can you blame him?
God had dispensed grace in every way possible, he had made agreements and covenants with man that men could not keep. He had sent prophet after prophet to reason with them, and some of them were beaten and some of them were killed. At last God said, “I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.” (Luke 20:13)
That is when the Lord Jesus Christ MADE time for you and me.
God never breaks his word. Yet with less than 7 years left on God’s eternal calendar, he pushed ‘pause’ to give us an extra age of grace. God did not lie, He just “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) for another two thousand years.
My friend, Jesus Christ could have returned at any time these last two millennia. But he has waited, and now you have today as a day of grace because God’s only begotten Son came into this world to save sinners.
In this digital age of timekeeping, remember the hourglass of history and what Jesus Christ did for you whenever somebody says your time is up.