Providence (Olevianus)

Question:  Construct for me the whole doctrine of God’s providence in its main parts.

Answer:

Olevianus 1The whole doctrine of the providence of God consists of five main parts. First, a faithful servant of God should be absolutely convinced inside that all things happen by God’s decree and not by chance or by good luck or bad luck.

Therefore, in all things one should fasten the eyes of one’s heart directly upon God, with whom he has a covenant, and look upon Him as the original source and cause of everything.

The Scriptures testify to this when Joseph says in Genesis 45:8, “It was not you who sold me into the land of Egypt . . . but I was sent before you by the will of God to preserve your lives.” Job, too, did not brood about the Chaldeans who had robbed him of his goods; he said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) Note also Exodus 21:13: “He did not lie in wait for another, but God delivered him into his hand;” Proverbs 16:33: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord;” Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. Indeed, even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” See also James 4:13-16

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.  James 4:13-16

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