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I was once told about an incident which occurred in a newly‐settled portion of the United States in the 1800s. According to the story, the son of a young farming couple had grown very ill, and a doctor was called. Upon examining the child, the doctor declared, “I know exactly what is wrong with your son. Last year, this same disease spread among the children of a nearby town. Every one of those children died.”
Imagine how these words must have pierced the hearts of those parents! But the doctor was not finished speaking. “Last year,” the doctor continued, “we could do nothing for those children. But now we have a cure.”
Whether or not this incident actually occurred, the story serves to illustrate the power inherent in the two short words, “but now.” These words indicate a change in circumstances, a new set of conditions which did not exist in the past. That change might be joyful or disappointing, but in either case it is absolute.
The words “but now” occur frequently in God’s Word. Perhaps because they are such common, seemingly insignificant words we tend to disregard them in our reading of the Scriptures. Yet they hold great significance for us. Let’s consider a few examples.