[CF Devotionals] 2008-07-20 - Ruth: Providence

Installment 15 ~ Chapter 2, Part 1

“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.” 1

We recently considered how God’s 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 God’s specific providence. And it is this type of providence that 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: “God’s 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).” 2

“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).

  1. 1 McClure, editor, J. B., Pearls from Many Seas, The Master Christian Library, AGES Software, Albany, OR, Version 8.0 © 2000.
  2. 2 Douglas, J. D. and Merrill C. Tenney, editors, NIV Bible Dictionary, Zondervan I nteractive Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, © 1989

To be continued.

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