Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.6 | God’s Providence Extends in a Special Way to the Church

Those who argue that God’s providence can be used as a cover for sin can be easily refuted by meditating on God’s providence. Meditating on his providence produces the best and sweetest fruit in our lives. Therefore, Christians will always direct their eyes to God as the principle cause of events because they know that all things come to pass by God’s hand and nothing happens “by chance.” Yet they will also pay attention to “secondary causes” as to why things happen. Christians should not doubt that God’s special providence is at work when they are kept safe from harm. Christians will be assured that God’s providence reigns over all things because it primarily concerns people and then with other creatures. They’ll acknowledge that people’s wishes, aims, and behaviors are also under God’s directive hand and that he has the fully power to turn them in whatever direction he pleases. They know that God often constrains them to certain choices.

There is a special providence, then, that watches over the safety of believers. Such special providence is well attested in the Scriptures. For example. “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22) and “Cast all your cares upon him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) and “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1) and “He who touches you, touches the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8) and ““We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security” (Isaiah 26:1) and ““Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15).

Furthermore, one of the purposes of the historical books of Scripture is to show the ways that saints are carefully guarded by the Lord. He prevents them from even dashing their foot against a stone (Psalm 91:12). Just as we earlier exploded the idea of that God’s providence does not extend over all things, so now we dispel the myth that God does not have a special providence for those who believe. Jesus declares that even a sparrow does not fall to the ground without the will of his Father. But then he immediately points out that we are far more valuable than sparrows. Will God not provide for us (Matthew 10:29-31)? Even the hairs on our head are numbered! What more can we wish for if even a hair of head cannot fall out expect due to God’s will? God’s providence doesn’t just extend over humanity in general either. Because God has chosen the church to be the place of his presence, there can be no doubt that he watches over the church with a special providence which flows from his fatherly concern for his people!

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  1. Pingback: Blogging the Institutes: List of Posts | Raising Lazarus

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