lesson 5: god’s “general providence” lesson 5: god’s “general providence”
Post on 03-Jan-2016
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Lesson 5:Gods General Providence
Gods Providence Is Working TodayHe created all thingsHe sustains all thingsDivine providence concerns:Gods support, preservation, care, supervision and government which He exercises over everything He has created (from the moment of His first creation to His foreseeable future into eternity) that He might accomplish the purpose for which all things were createdGods providence is exercised toward all men in a general sense and toward His children in a special sense.
The sustenance of human life is due to God.For in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).God is in control.This providence of God is available to everyonerighteous & unrighteous (cf. Job 21:17-26).
The forces of nature and weather are in Gods control.God maintains continuity of the seasons (Gen. 8:22).He controls the sun & stars (Job 9:7).Job 37:5b-6, 10-13Psalm 147:8, 16-18He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt. 5:45).Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons (Acts 14:17).
God maintains and uses His animal creation.In whose hand is the life of every living thing (Job 12:10).Birdsneither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them (Matt. 6:26).He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry (Psa. 147:9).The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God (Psa. 104:21).And not one [sparrow] falls to the ground apart from your Father's will (Matt. 10:29).God used in special ways too (Gen. 22:13; Num. 21:6).
God exercises providential control over the nations of the world.He rules over the nations (Psa. 22:28).Daniel 4:17; 2:21Acts 17:26God can elevate providentially a Daniel or Joseph to power (Dan. 2:48; Gen. 41:41; 45:9) or drive a Nebuchadnezzar from it (Dan. 4:28ff).Christ told Pilate, You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above (John 19:11).God has given regulation, control, and responsibility of protection and/or prosecution to government (Rom. 13:1-7).
God exercises providential control over the nations of the world.When governments go so far from God that they no longer server the basic purpose for which they were allowed to exist, God knows how to punish and/or eliminate them (Isa. 24:21; Prov. 34:14; 11:11).God can, consistent with His own holiness, use evil men to providentially bring about ultimate good in His world, using them as instruments of vengeance to punish other evil people or maintain order in society (cf. Isa. 10:5-7; 10:12, 24, 25; Hab. 1:5-11; Jer. 25:9; Isa. 13:3; 44:28-45:1; Dan. 8:5, 21; 2:40ff; Mt. 22:7).
The possibility of good relationships of a domestic sort is provided by God to all men.God has provided the home (Gen. 2:18-25), whom all people at some time in their lives have a right to (even persons who may not care about God).A wife is a blessing from God (Prov. 18:22; 19:14; 31:10-31, esp. v. 28).Children are a heritage from the Lord (Psa. 127:3).Husbands/Fathers are the head/leader of the home (Eph. 5:23; 6:1-4; Prov. 22:6).
An interesting element in general providence is that of time & chance.There is an element of randomness, an area of life beyond our ability to regulate, restrict or anticipate.I returned and saw under the sun thatThe race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all (Ecc. 9:11).When it comes to general providence, we need to know that God has made the world this way.