Blogging the Institutes | 1.16.5 | God’s Providence Extends Over All Things

God put everything that exists into motion. God also puts into motion everything which looks like it comes about spontaneously or moves according to a “built in” impulse from nature, like day and night, summer and winter. God has assigned certain laws to govern the movement of these things so that they are consistent day after day, month after month, year after year.

Some argue that natural catastrophes are not from God. If there is excessive heat and drought occurs, if there is too much rain and fields are destroyed, some believe that these are not the works of God. They instead believe that these things are caused by natural causes. According to this view, there is no room to believe in God’s fatherly care or his judgment. But if God only is involved in the affairs of the world, then abundant produce of the ground is not a good gift from him nor the fallow of the ground another year a punishment or curse from God.

In the Law and the Prophets, God repeatedly declares that through the dew and rain, he manifests his favor. On the other hand, God manifests his judgment when he commands the skies to become hard as iron, when crops are destroyed by mildew, and when storms devastate fields. Not even a drop of rain falls without God’s command. David praises the providence of God in supplying food for the birds (Psalm 146:9). But when God himself threatens living creatures with a famine, does not God declare that all things are nourished by him? Some with a little and some with a lot? It is childish to believe that God only intervenes in particular acts. Christ himself says that a sparrow falls to the ground according to the will of the Father (Matthew 10:29). Surely, if God regulates the flight of birds, we must acknowledge with the prophet that while God “dwells on high,” he also “humbles himself to behold the things that are on the earth” (Psalm 113:5-6).

2 thoughts on “Blogging the Institutes | 1.16.5 | God’s Providence Extends Over All Things

  1. Pingback: Blogging the Institutes | 1.16.5 | God’s Providence Extends Over All Things | Talmidimblogging

  2. Pingback: Blogging the Institutes: List of Posts – Raising Lazarus

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