God’s JIT (Just-In-Time) System
Bible Study #15
Knowing God’s Ways #1
First, let’s take a look at some definitions of ‘Just-In-Time’
Just in Time may refer to: Just-in-time business, a production strategy. Just-in-time compilation, a method to improve the runtime performance of computer programs. Just in Time Teaching, a strategy to improve learning outcomes.
In business the philosophy of Just in time JIT is simple: the storage of unused inventory (produced or partially produced items) is a waste of resources. JIT inventory systems expose hidden costs of keeping inventory. The philosophy behind JIT defines how inventory is viewed and how it relates to management. (In other words, the more parts or units that are in the process or waiting for the next stage of production or are completed but awaiting shipment etc. the more cost is involved.) To meet JIT objectives, the process relies on signals or Kanban between different points in the process, which tell production when to make the next part.
How does JIT relate to the Bible?
Well, believe it or not God runs a JIT system. Have you ever thought that it seems God works on the 'Just-In-Time' principle, sometimes even leaving things till the last possible minute’? We've all heard of, or may have even experienced, events whereby the solution to a problem arrives at the last minute. An example of this is someone not knowing where their next meal is to come from, then they find a box of groceries on their doorstep. You can probably think of some examples that have happened either to you or someone you know. (Take a moment to write down those examples so that they don’t become past and forgotten. Take that writing out, when things aren’t looking good, as a reminder to yourself of God’s goodness).
Biblical Examples of God’s JIT System
Have you ever thought that from God's point of view it may not be "Just-In-Time" but at "Just the Right Time." We all tend to become anxious not knowing the outcome of any given situation. We want to know what is going to happen and which direction we are going, but we don’t and that can be the source and cause of a lot of anxiety. But none of what happens (or doesn’t happen!) is a surprise to God, he already knew the outcome before the beginning! That’s why it’s not ‘last-minute’ to God, it’s just at the right time with nothing wasted or lost. One of the Bible’s and especially Jesus’ most frequent requests to his disciples was, ‘fear not’ ’don’t fret or worry’. See: Psalm 37:1;Isaiah 41:13 Philippians 4:6; John 14:1; Luke 12:22
Consider Abraham and Sarah, God had promised them an heir, yet they became anxious and look what happened, Genesis 16 (Note: Sarah had no child, so she gave her servant girl Hagar, to be Abraham’s wife to have a child by her. When she became pregnant and gave birth to Ishmael, it caused many troubles and difficulties). At "Just the Right Time," however, Isaac (Abraham’s son with Sarah) was born (Genesis 21:2)
Move on to consider Joseph (Note: Abraham’s grandson, Genesis 37 to 50), sold into slavery, imprisoned and forgotten, yet at "Just the Right Time" he was placed in charge of the grain distribution. (Note: He became an important ruler of the Egyptian Empire)
Then, we move forward many years to the life of Jesus on earth at "Just the Right Time". (Romans 5:6 Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but at just the right time Christ died for us.)
God’s JIT system is completely reliable, it does not break down or fail!
Genesis 21:1-2 The LORD came back to visit Sarah as he said he would, and he kept his promise to her. (2) At exactly the time God said it would happen, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age.
(Genesis 22:8) Abraham answered, "God himself is providing the lamb for the sacrifice, my son." So, both Abraham and his son went together to that place.
Knowing that God is present and providing is why Jesus tells us not to worry or fear! (Matthew 6:25-34) Those are important promises, not just for the individual’s concerned in Jesus’ day but for us too! God’s promise is faithful to all who call upon Him! Psalms 145:18, The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
So, whenever things are looking uncertain for you and you don’t know which way to turn, turn to those notes you wrote above, read them out loud and remember God’s goodness.
Along this theme a beautiful Psalm to read is Psalm 116
Many years later in the New Testament, Paul, facing a very difficult situation wrote about Psalm 116 (in 2 Corinthians 4:13-16) In the Scriptures it says, "I spoke because I had faith." We have that same kind of faith. So we speak (14) because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life. And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together with you. (15) All of this has been done for you, so that more and more people will know how kind God is and will praise and honor him. (16) We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. (17) These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. (18) Things that are seen don't last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That's why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.
God, in Christ, has given us the ultimate victory (1Corinthians 15:57), in the short term we do and will have problems (Acts 14:22), the solutions to which God will provide, in just the right time! And in the end, we will be successful, so hold on! Revelation 3:12