Meditating on God’s Providence in Unsettling Times

Through His prophets, God would often remind Israel that He not only has foreknowledge of all things but determines them:

To whom would you liken me as an equal, compare me, as though we were alike? ...I am God, there is none like me. At the beginning I declare the outcome; from of old, things not yet done. I say that my plan shall stand, I accomplish my every desire (Is. 46:5;9-10).

The Psalmist writes of God’s sovereignty over nations,

For he spoke, and it came to be, commanded, and it stood in place. The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever, the designs of his heart through all generations (Psalm 33:9-11).

All leaders of nations are themselves governed by God:

He causes the changes of the times and seasons, establishes kings and deposes them (Daniel 2:21).

A king’s heart is channeled water in the hand of the LORD; God directs it where he pleases (Proverbs 21:1).

Climate change is solely God’s domain:

With his breath God brings the frost, and the broad waters congeal. The clouds too are laden with moisture, the storm-cloud scatters its light. He it is who changes their rounds, according to his plans, to do all that he commands them across the inhabited world (Job: 37:10-12).

Recall how easy it was for Jesus to calm the sea:

He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm (Mark 4:39).

God has control over our infirmities and they work to accomplish His will:

Moses, however, said to the LORD, “If you please, my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him: Who gives one person speech? Who makes another mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? (Exodus 4:10-11).

Even the super rich are subject to God’s sovereignty:

Good and evil, life and death, poverty and riches—all are from the LORD
(Sirach 11:4).

Notice that even evil is subject to God’s authority and used to accomplish His will, as St. Paul taught:

For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ… (1 Cor. 15:21-23).

Repeated in these passages are references to God’s plans, desires, and purposes. We learn from the New Testament what these are, our adoption as His daughters and sons through Christ. And it was all motivated by love:

In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:5-6).

…rjt

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