God is Good: Loving Providence

Introduction

The work of creation is an outflow of the goodness of God, a work in which God’s goodness is visible. When God, being good, sets his affection upon an object and benevolently acts for that object’s good, God’s goodness is displayed as love. His goodness is seen as love for his creatures in manifold ways, including in his providence.

Providence

God providentially governs all that unfolds in creation. Isaiah 46:9-11 reads,

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”

God declares, exhaustively, all things, for he knows all things, from beginning to end. And he knows all things, from beginning to end, for he has purposed all things according to his wise counsel. Having purposed all things according to his wise counsel, it pleases him to do his purpose, to bring about his all-encompassing plan to perfection. Yes, God has all power. His use of that power in carrying out his purpose, in making to be all that has been, is, and shall be, is his providence. And this providence is full of love.

Loving Providence

God sends the rain. God makes the sun rise and set, and makes those sunrises and sunsets breathtaking. God takes seed and turns it into fruit-bearing plants and turns that into all sorts of food for our nourishment and delight. So he makes apples and apple butter and wheat and glutenous sourdough loaves. God grants unto men medicines and meats for the body. Robitussin and ribeye are granted by providence. God providentially teaches men how to take dominion by having ants march over everything. He holds back the seas, tears down Rome, Nazi Germany, and Hillary Clinton, and leads men to discover the platypus, the combustible engine and airplanes, air conditioning, and the printing press. What is there that is not there because of providence? And what is providentially there that does not show God’s love to us, his creatures? We breathe in and out by loving providence. His providence is full of love, and so shows his goodness.

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