Sunday, April 23, 2006

Perfect, Complete, Sovereign Providence

All my times are in Your hands. Ps. 31:15a

[Man’s] days are determined, and the number of his months is with You, and You have appointed his limits that he cannot pass. Job 14:5

[T]hough they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad - in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call. Romans 9:11

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will. Ephesians 1:11

The decrees of God are his eternal plan, based on the purpose of His will, by which, for His own glory, He has foreordained everything that happens. The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English, Q. 7

Sovereign Ruler of the skies,
Ever gracious, ever wise,
All my times are in thy hand,
All of events at thy command.

His decree who formed the earth
Fixed my first and second birth;
Parents, native place, and time
All appointed were by him.

He that formed in the womb,
He shall guide me to the tomb;
All my times shall ever be
Ordered by his wise decree.

Times of sickness, times of health,
Times of penury and wealth;
Times of trial and of grief,
Times of triumph and relief;

Times the tempter’s power to prove,
Times to test the Savior’s love;
All must come, and last, and end
As shall please my heavenly friend.

Plagues and death around me fly;
Till he bids, I cannot die.
Nor a single shaft can hit,
Till the love of God sees fit.
John Ryland (1753-1825), Baptist minister, cited by J.I. Packer, God’s Plans for You, pg. 9.

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