Wednesday, July 22

How Sovereign is God?

In his Body of Divinity, the puritan Thomas Watson beautifully unfolds the doctrine of the providence of God. What is that? He defines it thus, "Providence is God's ordering all issues and events of things, after the counsel of his own will, to his own glory." One point he makes is that there are no events that can be termed "casual" and accidental.

The falling of a tile upon one's head, the breaking out of a fire, is casual to us, but it is ordered by a providence of God. You have clear instance of this in 1 Kings 22:34, But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate (ESV). This accident was casual as to the man that drew the bow; but it was divinely ordered by the providence of God. God's providence directed the arrow to hit the mark. Things that seem to fall out casual, and by chance, are the issues of God's decrees, and the interpretation of his will.
C. H. Spurgeon believed as well that God's sovereign providence reaches to every minute thing. And if you haven't seen this memorable quotation, it's one of my favorites.

I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes - that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens - that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their course. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebush is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence - the fall of...leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.
In how many ways such providence is carried out in our lives, only God knows. But it should at least cause us to rest secure in the loving power of His grace who ordered it.

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ . . . I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it (Isaiah 46:9-11).

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