In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. This week I want to start looking at the providence of God.
Firstly, what do we mean by God’s providence? Providence is God providing for his creatures.
So how does God show that he provides for his creation? Firstly by his powerful preservation of his creation. Paul says in Colossians that Jesus alone keeps creation from falling apart: ‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ (Colossians 1:17). How does Jesus keep everything together? We read in Hebrews that Jesus preserves us by his powerful word: ‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word’ (Hebrews 1:3). This is an important point. We as humans love to be independent and think that we don’t need anyone. So it is very humbling to realise that the only reason we are able to get up in the morning and go about our business is because Jesus says that you can exist that day and also says that the creation you will interact with that day can exist too.
How else does God show that he provides for creation? By governing all his creatures. We strongly associate government with provision. Whoever is ruling over us is expected to provide care for us, otherwise we in Australia will vote the government out when the election rolls around. Thus if God is a provider then he must be an authority. So it is not surprising that we read many, many times in the Bible that God is king. For example, ‘The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all’ (Psalm 103:19), and ‘The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them’ (Psalm 11:4). God clearly rules over everything as the great provider for his creation.
So if God is the one who provides for creation by sustaining humans and ruling humans, then you must submit to him. After all it would be foolish to bite the hand that feeds you, particularly when that hand has been so good to you. But sadly humans do bite God’s hand. Yet he won’t take such aggression forever. One day he will punish all those who do not submit to him in repentance and faith.
Do you submit to the providential God?