2014-02-02 - God's Providence
Ruth ~ Part 22
On classic cups and vases we have sometimes seen devices carved by the cunning hand of the sculptor. So around the cup of trial, which God commends to the lips of suffering Christians, are wreathed many comforting assurances. Here is one of them: All things work together for good to them who love God. Here is another like it: As thy day is, so shall thy strength be. Afflicted friend, turn thy cup of sorrow around, and you will see engraved on it these precious words: As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you. Turn it again and read: My grace is sufficient for thee. The whole cup is encircled with the words of love. But faith is required to read them. They are invisible to selfishness and blind unbelief. And God sometimes washes the eyes of His children with tears, in order that they may read aright His providence and His commandment. T. L. Cuyler.
Previously, we considered how Gods providence was available to all within the nation of Israel who were in need. This is an example of general providence. God established a system which took into consideration the nature and need of people. But as his children, we are also the beneficiaries of Gods specific providence. And it is this type of providence we will examine now.
First, though, it might be helpful to define what we mean by
PROVIDENCE The universal providence of God is the basic assumption of all Scripture. The meaning is prearrangement. As used historically the theological term providence means nothing short of the universal sovereign rule of God.
The definition of the answer to Question 11 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism expresses the view of all Bible-believing Christians:
Gods works of providence are his most holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions. Divine providence is the outworking of the divine decrees, which are the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Eph 1:11).
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11).
To be continued.
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