‘Then Jesus answered and said, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side (Luke 10:30, 31).”’
In this example of the use of the word chance the meaning of it according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words is:
“the meeting together with, a coincidence of circumstances, a happening. But concurrence of events is what the word signifies, …”
Chance, as understood by the world, can be positive or negative; for example, if a man happens to be in a particular place at a particular time, and he ‘accidentally’ bumps into a particular lady who subsequently becomes his wife; if she turns out to be a faithful and dutiful spouse (Proverbs 18:22; 31:10-31), the chance meeting was positive indeed! But if she turns out to be unfaithful and lazy, the chance meeting which began their relationship was one the husband would rather not have been involved in. It was a negative outcome for him.
Years ago in 1960 I had a chance meeting with a beautiful lady who subsequently became my wife (Genesis 2:24). The Lord God had prepared that particular meeting and our marriage. It was later, when I became a Christian, that I realised God’s providence was the crucial factor in our ‘chance’ encounter. He knew all about us and He predestined the meeting (Ephesians 1:5, 11). He has looked after us ever since. My wife has been faithful and dutiful. I could not have desired a better partner for helping me (Genesis 2:20), caring for me, and for bearing our children and bringing them up (Proverbs 31:10-31). She continues to this day to support me and our family in our fifty-ninth year of marriage.
So, basically, there is no such thing as chance when it is defined as ‘good or bad luck’; for all happenings and all events are predestined. God’s Word states: ‘To those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).’
God in His providence, our Jehovahjireh (Genesis 22:14 AV), governs all ‘chance’ situations. He rules over all (Psalm 47:8) – even the evil works of satan (1 John 3:8; 5:18, 19). He does not condone his evil works, and He is not the author of them, but He allows satan to use his power for carrying them out (Job 2:7), ultimately for the benefit of the elect (John 8:28) : ‘And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1, 2).’
As the above verses point out, all of us, at one time, were under the sway of the evil one (2 Timothy 3:26; 1 John 3:8, 10), and some never escape from serving him (Matthew 13:19).
God provides a Way (John 14:6) for escaping the tyranny of satan and entering into the kingdom of His Son (John 3:16). He sets aside a time which is ‘now’; for today is the day of salvation:
‘For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).’
If you have not confessed your sins and asked God for forgiveness, ‘now’ is that very ‘chance’, so that you may enter into the realm of His rest (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:3).