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Don Stewart :: What Is the Special Providence of God?

Don Stewart

The special providence of God means that God looks after the details of a person's life. The Bible says that God's special providence is in the following ways.

1. One's Birth And Purpose In Life Are Under God's Providence

A persons birth and place in this life is all part of God's providence.

The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king" (1 Samuel 16:1).

The psalmist wrote.

Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).

Isaiah recorded God saying.

I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me (Isaiah 45:5).

Jeremiah wrote about the Lord setting human beings apart before they were born.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5).

Paul wrote.

But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man (Galatians 1:15,16).

2. Success Or Failure Is Under God's Care

The success or failure of individuals is in the hand of God's providence.

No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man. But it is God who judges: he brings one down, he exalts another (Psalm 75:6,7).

In Luke we read.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble (Luke 1:52).

3. Even Seemingly Insignificant Things Are Under God's Providence

God's providential care extends to those things that we something think are insignificant.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25).

Proverbs says.

The human mind plans the way, but the LORD directs the steps (Proverbs 16:9).

4. God's Care Can Be Without Our Knowledge

God's providential care someone comes without the knowledge of the person. The Bible says that selected King Cyrus without the knowledge of the king.

I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me (Isaiah 45:5).

The Bible emphasizes that God is good to everyone.

The Lord is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works (Psalm 145:9).

5. He Is Always Protecting The Righteous

God's providence extends to the protection of the righteous.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me (Psalm 63:8).

The Psalmist wrote.

For it is he who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence (Psalm 91:3).

Paul said.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

6. God Meets The Desires Of His People

God's providence is seen in that He meets the desires of His people.

And Abraham said, "God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together (Genesis 22:8).

We also read in this chapter in Genesis.

And Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the Lord it will be provided" (Genesis 22:14).

Moses wrote.

And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Paul wrote.

And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

7. God's Providence Is In Answer To Prayer

We find the providence of God in answer to prayer.

Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor (Psalm 68:10).

Isaiah wrote.

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him (Isaiah 64:4).

Jesus said.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:8).

Jesus also stated.

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:32,33).

8. Providence Extends To The Sinful Acts Of Humans

God's providence also extends to sinning humanity.

But the king said, "What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, 'Curse David,' who can ask, `Why do you do this?" (2 Samuel 16:10).

The Bible says that God incited David to number Israel.

Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah" (2 Samuel 24:1).

Paul wrote.

For God has bound all humanity over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and (Romans 11:32).

Paul also wrote.
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:11,12).
9. God Exposes Sin And Punishes The Wicked

God exposes the sin of the wicked and punishes them.

If he does not turn back, he will sharpen his sword; he bends his bow and makes it ready. He also prepares for himself instruments of death; he makes his arrows into fiery shafts (Psalm 7:12,13).

The psalmist wrote.

On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot (Psalm 11:6).

Peter wrote.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 2:9).

10. Providence Extends To The Free Acts Of Human Beings

The providence of God extends to the free actions of humans.

The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians (Exodus 12:36).

In Samuel we read.

You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me (1 Samuel 24:18).

In the Book of Proverbs it says.

The plans of the mind belong to mortals, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD (Proverbs 16:1).

In another place in Proverbs it reads.

The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established. (Proverbs 19:21).

Jeremiah wrote.

I know, O LORD, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps (Jeremiah 10:23).

Paul wrote

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

God has prepared his own for good works.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Summary

The Bible speaks of the special providence of God. This means that the Lord is specifically watching over the details of a person's life. For example, the birth and purpose of a person's life are under the providence of God. Whether one succeeds or fails is also due to God's providence. Even the things that are seemingly insignificant are also controlled by God's providence. Often times God's providence occurs without our knowledge. Scripture emphasizes that God protects the righteous through his providence. His providing care meets the desires of people. Answers to prayer are determined by God's providence. The sinful acts of humans are not apart from God's providence. The exposure and punishment of the wicked also are in the hand of God's providence. Finally, even the free actions of human beings are under God's providential care. As we can readily see God's providence extends to all facets of a persons' life.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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