Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Providence and the presidency

The results are in: our nation has elected Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. It certainly will be interesting to see where President Obama takes us in the years ahead. Will America become a socialist nation? Will abortion rights expand? Will the Supreme Court grow increasingly antagonistic toward religious liberties? Will Obama's leadership be "tested" early in his term by a major terrorist attack? Only the Lord knows what will happen, and it profits us nothing to worry (Matt. 6:34).

Thankfully, all things - including democratic elections - are guided by the provident hand of God. Wayne Grudem defines providence this way: "God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that he (1) keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them; (2) cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and (3) directs them to fulfill his purposes." (Systematic Theology, p. 315)

Three times in the past four days, God has reminded me of His providence:

  • As Abraham led his beloved Isaac up Mount Moriah to be a sacrifice, he reassured him, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son" (Gen. 22:8). I was encouraged by this on Saturday in a message by R. C. Sproul.

  • As Joseph recalled the betrayal of his brothers and the years spent as a slave and prisoner in Egypt, he told his brothers "Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God...you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good" (Gen. 46:8; 50:20). I was reminded of this yesterday in a sermon by Dr. Will Varner.

  • And just earlier today, I read this quote from Spuregon posted by the Sola Panel: "I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens—that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—the fall of sear leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche."
God is provident in all things. Even these timely reminders were due to the provident hand of God. And tonight, in the wake of this historic election, I take fresh comfort in God's providence. He is still in control of His universe, He is still building His church, and He is still directing all things to fulfill His good and wise purposes.

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