It’s Providential – Genesis 30

Simply stated, providence is God’s intervention in His creation. The theological concept of providence incorporates the foreseeing care and guidance of God. In fact, the Latin root of the English word has the sense of  knowledge of the future.

So, because God knows the future, He controls the present.

Providence is probably the main point in which a biblical worldview comes into conflict with contemporary worldviews. Certainly, the Old Testament worldview was more respective of God’s providence than is the modern, scientific view that asks “Why” and “How” about every occurrence in life and nature.

The Old Testament writers seem to have a rich understanding of God’s providence. To the Old Testament writer, it’s all providential!

The two major events from the life of Jacob described in Genesis 30 illustrate the Old Testament perspective of providence.

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Living Providentially, Part 2: Failing Smart – Proverbs 20:24, Romans 8:28

failure“A person’s steps are from the Lord; how then can people understand their path?” (Proverbs 20:24,CEB).

“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, CEB).

According to the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:28, our steps are indeed from the Lord and we can know and understand God’s will and where He is leading us. We can live providentially.

But, when things go bad, we act like it won’t work out. We don’t believe these bad things can be part of the “all” things that work together for good.

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Living Providentially, Part 1: Good Happens – Proverbs 20:24, Romans 8:28

failure“A person’s steps are from the Lord; how then can people understand their path?” (Proverbs 20:24,CEB).

“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, CEB).

Does Solomon ask a rhetorical question in this proverb? How can we know what will happen to us in life since it is all determined by God?

Or, is he decrying the fact that it is impossible for human beings to know God’s will because we’re not spiritual enough to fully understand God?

Maybe he is simply issuing a challenge: God has a plan for your life, so discover what it is!

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Your Heavenly Assignment – 1 Corinthians 7:17

Divine_Providence“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Corinthians 7:17, ESV).

This admonition is given in the context of believer/unbeliever marriage. The Apostle Paul explains that if one marriage partner gets saved and the other doesn’t, the Christian should remain married to his or her unbelieving spouse because the marriage vow is a sacred one, even between unbelievers, and because the believing husband or wife can be a witness to the unbelieving one.

So, following Jesus isn’t an excuse to escape your marriage commitment, even if your spouse remains an unbeliever.

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Why Things Happen Like They Do – Job 37:13

crossroads-2“He makes these things happen either to punish people or to show his unfailing love.” (Job 37:13, NLT).

During Elihu’s discourse to Job, Elihu counseled Job to proclaim God’s majesty and the greatness of God’s providential action in His creation rather than questioning God’s judgment and justice by proclaiming his own righteousness.

God is sovereign and He wants His good plans and purposes to be accomplished. God is greater than evil and can even use the evil actions of Satan and human beings to accomplish His good purposes.

So the same act by God can serve multiple causes–judgment and love. God’s redemptive action in His creation and in our individual lives may provide for our correction; it may enable his plans and purposes; or maybe it’s just because God is good to us that He causes things to happen the way they do!

If you are a child of God, you can be assured that God is working His will for your good and your good for His will.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28, NLT)

For Such a Time as This – Esther 4:14

world_in_hands“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, ESV).

The story of Esther is set in Susa, the Persian capital, during the reign of King Xerxes (486–464 BC) after Persia had replaced Babylon as the ruling power.

Some Jews had returned to Jerusalem where they enjoyed a reasonable amount of control over their own affairs as described in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Others, like those in the story of Esther, lived in various parts of the empire where they were often treated with suspicion and recriminations.

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Just In Time – Isaiah 49:8

justintime“At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you and give you to the people as my covenant with them.” (Isaiah 49:8, NLT).

In this chapter Isaiah continues his description of the suffering servant. This chapter has traditionally been regarded as the second of four suffering servant songs.

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