Psalms 31: 15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. 16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies sake.
For quite some time now, it has been troublesome to me to realize that there are many Saints who truly believe that all disagreeable things that transpire in their lives are achieved by the enemy of our souls. Dear Reader, nothing could be further from the truth!
Our times, our seasons, our very lives are in the hands of God, and He has the sovereign providence to make these omnipotent choices in our life. Of our own volition, the moral choice in this matter was handed over to God, when we committed our life to Him.
Charles Finney has defined these actions by our Lord in the following manner:
"The sovereignty of God consists in the independence of his will, in consulting his own intelligence and discretion, in the selection of his end, and the means of accomplishing it. In other words, the sovereignty of God is nothing else than infinite benevolence directed by infinite knowledge."
The word "times" in our opening Scripture is identical to the words of Yeshua when He said:
John 7:6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time <2540> is not yet come: but your time <2540> is always ready.[Ed. - Emphasis added.]
Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons <2540>, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Surely, one can see from the above that the "times" and "seasons" in our life are directed by the omniscience [providence] of God, and from the hand of God.
The definition for the Strongs #2540 above is:
1) due measure
2) a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:
2a) a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for
2b) opportune or seasonable time
2c) the right time
2d) a limited period of time
2e) to what time brings, the state of the times, the things and events of time
Clarkes Commentary has worded the opening Scripture in a very precise manner:
Psalms 31:15 My times are in thy hand] The events of my life are under thy control. No danger can happen to me without thy foresight; thou seest what is prepared for or meditated against me; thou canst therefore deliver me from mine enemies. [Ed. emphasis added.]
Granted, "providence" is one of the words which does not occur in the Bible, but which nevertheless represents a truly biblical doctrine. There is no Hebrew equivalent for "providence," and the Greek word translated thus, pronoia [#4307 ], is used only of human foresight (Acts 24:2; Romans 13:14; for the verb pronoeo [#4306 ], see Romans 12:17; II Corinthians 8:21; I Timothy 5:8).
The Mediator, who is the incarnate Word, establishes our relationship with God, and in Him God becomes the God of men and they become His people. As our God, He will take up the responsibility for our earthly existence. May I take this opportunity to affirm that apart from Yeshua HaMaschiach, there is NO personal, life-giving relationship with God.
The principle of providence may be viewed from three different aspects:
The creation is the stage on which God's dealings with mankind are enacted. Providence is God's outworking of His purpose in Christ, which issues in His dealings with man. From the beginning God has ordered the course of events toward Yeshua HaMaschiach and His incarnation.
According to Acts 14:17; 17:22-30; and Romans 1:18-23, God's providence also served the purpose of bearing witness to God amongst the heathen. Therefore, providence is included in the ministry of reconciliation.
The God who gives man life also preserves him while he is on the earth. God is not a God of the soul singly, but of the body also. The disciples are reminded of their relationship to God, and are freed from all trepidation about their earthly future:
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Will God hand down less care upon man, to whom He has given a more elevated place in the creation (cf. Ps. 8:6-8)? Behind this belief lies the almighty and loving freedom which God has provided for us.
Do not think that God is arbitrary in His sovereignty. Most certainly, He is infinite mercy, guided by infinite knowledge. He consults His own intelligence only, because His knowledge is perfect and infinite. Therefore, it is safe and wise to take counsel nowhere else!!
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
God is not under law, nor is He above all law, for He knows no other law but what is presented to Him by His own reason. His will is law, whether WE are able to see the reason for His commands, or not!
In sum, the doctrine of providence tells us that the world and our lives are not ruled by chance or by fate but by God, who lays bare his purposes of providence in the incarnation of his Son. [T. H. L. PARKER]
As a closing statement, we would have to agree, and affirm, that Arthur Pink's definition will stand the test of time:
"To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will... The sovereignty of the God of Scripture is absolute, irresistible, infinite."
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.
Humbly submitted for the edification of the Saints by Anna L. Schwery.
© Yad bYad Ministries 2002
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