I often hear people with questions such as does fate exist in the Bible?
Sometimes I hear them say: everything happens for a reason.
Just a few days ago, a friend of my own faith told me something like “that’s because it’s meant to happen like this” then “who knows God has planned for it.”
In phrases like this, we can see that in the minds of many believers, there is an expectation that God fully controls the events of our lives.
I find myself going through particular events in my private life, which make me seriously consider that God is behind them, working His will.
The question then arises: Does fate exist in the Bible? Let’s elaborate on that.
#1. Is fate mentioned in the Bible?
I would like us to analyze this idea together from a story in scripture.
This is the story of King Saul.
We will talk about the events that occurred before he even suspected that he would become king.
The Bible tells us that on one occasion some donkeys were lost from the house of Saul’s father, and he sent his son to look for them.
After searching for three days in various places in the land of Israel, Saul and his servant set out to go and ask the prophet Samuel about the location of the donkeys.
Saul didn’t even know the prophet Samuel.
The reason he decided to go was that his servant convinced him to do so.
The event that follows in the story brings us to today’s question about fate in the Bible, read it with me:
“And one day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed to Samuel’s ear, saying:
Tomorrow at this very hour I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, whom you will anoint as a prince over my people Israel, and will save my people from the Hand of the Philistines; for I have looked to my people, for their cry has reached me. “
1 Samuel 9:15-16
It so happens that Samuel was already waiting for Saul that day at a specific time, when Saul didn’t even know it.
Saul had gone out looking for some donkeys, not knowing that he would meet with a calling from God to be king of Israel.
It is curiously interesting from this story that the loss of the donkeys comes to be related to the encounter between Samuel and Saul.
Which is then related to his subsequent appointment as king of Israel.
Had God directed the previous events to bring Saul before Samuel through them?
Oftentimes, in bible verses like this, it could seem to us as if there is an idea such as fate in the Bible.
However, let us have a closer look at this issue.
#2. Does fate exist, according to the Bible?
If we read the text superficially with the expectation or the belief that fate exists, that is what we would end up generally concluding.
We end up concluding that the donkeys were meant to get lost, that Saul was meant not to find them, that Samuel was meant to be in that city at the time, etc.
This is what often happens when we approach the Bible with our own ideas and interpret it based on them.
However, this story, like many others that could be used to imply the existence of fate in the Bible, is about something different.
While it is true that the meeting of the two was providentially guided, it was not the encounter itself that triggered Saul’s coronation as king.
Instead of fate or destiny, the bible teaches something more meaningful and important.
It teaches us about God’s providence.
God had already decided that Saul would be the king of Israel.
Regardless of how the meeting took place, his calling had already been determined by God’s will.
#4. Difference between fate and providence
This story is not about a series of predestined events that trigger Saul’s election as king, as if it were his fate.
This is clear because such events had nothing to do with his election as king.
It’s not that Saul’s fate was to be king.
What happens in this story is that there was a need; in order to supply for it, God had a purpose and chose to use a person to fulfill it.
God needed a king for Israel and in that case decided to use Saul, who by then had a character that could be molded in order to be fit for the task.
He then providentially led Saul to Samuel to receive his calling.
I personally think that God did it this way so that there would be no doubt in the minds of Saul, Samuel, or the people that Saul was God’s chosen one for this.
God is real, and his ways are not our ways.
You can learn more about the reality of God and improve your relationship with Him on other blog posts from our site.
It is notorious that there were other people eager for power, aspiring to the throne.
That is why God chose to give evidence of his direction in the matter to disqualify the other aspirants.
It was His providence, rather than something such as a fate, that lead everything.
#3 Fate vs free will in the Bible
Now, in trying to answer the question: does fate exist in the bible, let us consider the idea of free will and how it plays a role in all of this.
In previous events from those of today’s story, we see in the bible how Israel asks for a king and God agrees to give it to them, nevertheless making it clear that it is not what he wants for them.
What we can see here is the free decision of the people to ask God for a king, and God’s subsequent free acceptance of this request.
This does obviously imply that God doesn’t impose events on human history, but rather dynamically interacts with us in a loving way.
Always allowing us to exercise our free will.
Moreover, after being called by God to be king, Saul was free to reject that call. And if we read further into the story of his life, that’s exactly what he ended up doing by way of his own choices and actions.
#5 What does the Bible say about destiny and fate
We have already stated that the idea of destiny and fate as understood today is not proper of the bible.
However, if we were to consider something similar to fate or destiny in the Bible, the following is what it would be.
In the same way, as it happened so many times in bible times, today God has plans, purposes, and projects in which we can participate.
He wants to use us in them.
The clearest plan that God has revealed is that everyone knows of His love in Christ Jesus.
God’s other purposes are our salvation, sanctification, improving our character, providing relief and the needs of those most in need, etc.
If we give ourselves to God in service, to fulfill His purposes, He will take care to lead our lives along the paths that His will deems best, so that we may fulfill His purposes.
Not because certain things are meant to happen, but because God in his love provides what we need to perform our tasks in the best way.
This may include the provision of a specific job, a partner, professional studies, living abroad, etc.
That is what our true destiny or fate is in Jesus according to the Bible.
If, on the other hand, we do not give ourselves to God to fulfill His purposes, then we cannot expect God to guide our lives.
We will be caught up in a series of generally unfortunate events resulting from our poor decisions.
If we choose to reject God’s love and mercy, then our fate or destiny, chosen by ourselves, will be our own eternal damnation and condemnation.
#5 So, does fate exist in the Bible? – [Conclusion]
The simple answer, as understood by current superstition, is no.
There is no such thing in the Bible.
Nevertheless, I want to take the opportunity to invite you to give your life to God.
Instead of putting your trust in superstitions, put it in Jesus, the author of life.
May you rest in the peace that, leaving your life in God’s hands, you can trust that He will lead it on paths of righteousness for the sake of his name.
I hope these words are a blessing to your life.
What do you think? Does fate exist in the Bible? Share it in the comments.
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A hug, God bless you.