Does the Bible say anything about coincidence?

The world likes the idea of coincidence. It takes away any accountability to acknowledge the existence of a Creator and greater purpose in our lives. If things just happen by chance, then our actions don't really matter. The Bible, however, leaves no room for coincidence.

God is sovereign. He is the Alpha and the Omega, all-knowing and all-powerful (Revelation 22:13; Romans 11:33–36; Job 42:1–2). From the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation it is evident that God is in control. Even before Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, God knew that Jesus would have to die on the cross to bring redemption. He knows every decision we will make and the consequences we will experience. For God there are no surprises, accidents, or karma.

God cares about His creation. He knows the number of the stars in the sky and even the number of hairs on your individual head (Luke 12:7). He accounts for every detail from something as simple as a flower to the complexity of the human heart. "And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:28–30).

God has a plan. He weaves together all events and all decisions for His greater purpose of redeeming His creation and being reunited with it. Moses coming across a burning bush was not coincidence (Exodus 3). God meant to meet him there. Abraham finding a ram to sacrifice instead of his son was not coincidence. God knew Abraham would be faithful to Him and provided an alternative sacrifice (Genesis 22). Jesus arriving in Jerusalem the week of Passover was not a coincidence. For Jesus Himself would take the place of the Passover lamb forever destroying the power of sin with His final sacrifice. In Isaiah 46:9–11 God says, ". . . for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it."

A few passages of the Bible have phrases with the connotation of coincidence. For example, in the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 it is said that "by chance" a priest passed the beat-up man on the road. Yet when taken in context of the Bible as a whole, it is clear that while the priest passing by was unexpected from a human perspective, God already knew that it was not the so-called righteous of society, but the disliked Samaritan who would stop and help the man. Perhaps the role of coincidence in God's eyes is best captured by the words of Albert Einstein, "Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous."

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