Thursday, September 24, 2015

he created it, and did not let it go

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." (Revelation 4:11 ESV)

"The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all." (Psalm 103:19 ESV)

"To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17 ESV)

Understood in this way, the doctrine of creation and providence is rich in encouragement and comfort.  There is so much in life that is oppressive and that robs us of the strength to live and to act.  There are the adversities and disappointments which we meet on life's way.  There are those terrible calamities and disasters which sometimes cause hundreds and thousands of lives to be lost in nameless anguish.  But life in its ordinary course also can sometimes raise doubts in the mind about the providence of God.  Is not mystery the portion of all mankind?  The worm of restlessness and fear gnaws at all existence.  Is it not true that God has a quarrel with His creatures and that we perish in His wrath and are terrified by His anger?  No, it is not the unbelievers and frivolous only, but the children of God also, and these the most deeply of all, who are seized upon by the awful seriousness of reality. And sometimes the question forces its way from the heart up to the lips: Can it be that God created man on the earth for nothing?

But then the despondent Christian by a faith in God's creation and providence again raises his head up high.  No devil, but God, the Almighty, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, created the world.  It is in its entirety and in its parts the work of His hands, and of His hands alone.  Once He had created it, He did not let it go.  By His almighty and omnipresent power He sustains it.  He governs and rules all things in such a way that they all cooperate and all converge upon the purpose He has established.  The providence of God includes, together with the maintenance and the cooperation, also the third aspect of governance.  He is the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15 and Rev. 19:6) and His kingdom lasts unto all eternity (1 Tim. 1:17).  No accident and no necessity, no arbritrariness and no force, no mere caprice nor iron destiny controls the world and its history and the life and lot of mankind.  Behind all secondary causes there lurks and works the almighty will of an almighty God and a faithful Father.

It speaks for itself that no one can really believe this with his heart and confess it with his mouth except the person who knows himself to be a child of God. The faith in providence stands in the most intimate of relationships with the faith in redemption. 

~ Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, p. 182. 

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