We often rehearse what God has done for us in centuries now past, and such is proper. God created the world, made man, provided our salvation though Christ, and established the church. We are thankful for these mighty works of the past. Yet, we must not ignore the fact that God is still very much active in human affairs. “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Daniel 4:17).
Of course, there are extremes to avoid. Pitfalls of extremism are a danger in most all areas of biblical study, and this area is no exception. Some defend the extreme notion that God cannot take an active part in human affairs without working miraculously or eliminating our freedom of choice. Others teeter at the opposite extreme, flatly denying that God has any current role in the matters of men. We believe the Bible teaches both of these extremes to be false and equally dangerous.
“Nevertheless, what saith the Scriptures?” (Galatians 4:30). “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Psalm 46:1,2). “I will fear no evil; for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4). “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). ”Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29,31). ”…and Io, l am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:30). “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). ”I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5,6).
We may never come to fully understand the how of these promises, but we may be assured of their veracity, “For he is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23). Our confidence and reliance upon God’s providence is manifested each time we earnestly pray, “Give us this day our daily bread. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:11,13). Such entreaties would be shallow pretense at best were it not for our confidence in divine providence. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” only if God answers such prayers providentially (James 5:16). Who will deny it?
10th and Rockford church of Christ