- 5.1 The Governance of All Things
- 5.2 The Causes of All Things
- 5.3 The Freedom of God
- 5.4 The Goodness of God
- 5.5 The Discipline of God
- 5.6 The Rendering of God
- 5.7 The Goodness of God
God the good Creator of all things, in His infinite power and wisdom does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, to the end for the which they were created, according unto His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will; to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy.
Hebrews 1:3 (CSB) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Job 38:11 (CSB) when I declared, “You may come this far, but no farther; your proud waves stop here”?
Isaiah 46:10–11 (CSB) I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will. I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for my purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.
Psalm 135:6 (CSB) The LORD does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths.
Matthew 10:29–31 (CSB) Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Ephesians 1:11 (CSB) In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will,
Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
Acts 2:23 (CSB) Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him.
Proverbs 16:33 (CSB) The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
Genesis 8:22 (CSB) As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”
God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at his pleasure.
Acts 27:31–44 (CSB) Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” Then the soldiers cut the ropes holding the skiff and let it drop away. When it was about daylight, Paul urged them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been waiting and going without food, having eaten nothing. So I urge you to take some food. For this is for your survival, since none of you will lose a hair from your head.” After he said these things and had taken some bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of all of them, and after he broke it, he began to eat. They all were encouraged and took food themselves. In all there were 276 of us on the ship. When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing the grain overboard into the sea. When daylight came, they did not recognize the land but sighted a bay with a beach. They planned to run the ship ashore if they could. After cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and headed for the beach. But they struck a sandbar and ran the ship aground. The bow jammed fast and remained immovable, while the stern began to break up by the pounding of the waves. The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners so that no one could swim away and escape. But the centurion kept them from carrying out their plan because he wanted to save Paul, and so he ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest were to follow, some on planks and some on debris from the ship. In this way, everyone safely reached the shore.
Isaiah 55:10–11 (CSB) For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
Hosea 1:7 (CSB) But I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will deliver them by the LORD their God. I will not deliver them by bow, sword, or war, or by horses and cavalry.
Romans 4:19–21 (CSB) He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about a hundred years old) and also the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to do.
Daniel 3:27 (CSB) When the satraps, prefects, governors, and the king’s advisers gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men: not a hair of their heads was singed, their robes were unaffected, and there was no smell of fire on them.
The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that his determinate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, which also he most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and governeth, in a manifold dispensation to his most holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
Romans 11:32–34 (CSB) For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?
2 Samuel 24:1 (CSB) The LORD’s anger burned against Israel again, and he stirred up David against them to say, “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.”
1 Chronicles 21:1 (CSB) Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to count the people of Israel.
2 Kings 19:28 (CSB) Because your raging against me and your arrogance have reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth; I will make you go back the way you came.
Psalm 76 (CSB) For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song. God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel. His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. There he shatters the bow’s flaming arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah You are resplendent and majestic coming down from the mountains of prey. The brave-hearted have been plundered; they have slipped into their final sleep. None of the warriors was able to lift a hand. At your rebuke, God of Jacob, both chariot and horse lay still. And you—you are to be feared. When you are angry, who can stand before you? From heaven you pronounced judgment. The earth feared and grew quiet when God rose up to judge and to save all the lowly of the earth. Selah Even human wrath will praise you; you will clothe yourself with the wrath that remains. Make and keep your vows to the LORD your God; let all who are around him bring tribute to the awe-inspiring one. He humbles the spirit of leaders; he is feared by the kings of the earth.
Psalm 10 (CSB) LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide in times of trouble? In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue their victims; let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses and despises the LORD. In all his scheming, the wicked person arrogantly thinks, “There’s no accountability, since there’s no God.” His ways are always secure; your lofty judgments have no effect on him; he scoffs at all his adversaries. He says to himself, “I will never be moved— from generation to generation I will be without calamity.” Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth; trouble and malice are under his tongue. He waits in ambush near settlements; he kills the innocent in secret places. His eyes are on the lookout for the helpless; he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. He lurks in order to seize a victim; he seizes a victim and drags him in his net. So he is oppressed and beaten down; helpless people fall because of the wicked one’s strength. He says to himself, “God has forgotten; he hides his face and will never see.” Rise up, LORD God! Lift up your hand. Do not forget the oppressed. Why has the wicked person despised God? He says to himself, “You will not demand an account.” But you yourself have seen trouble and grief, observing it in order to take the matter into your hands. The helpless one entrusts himself to you; you are a helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked, evil person, until you look for his wickedness, but it can’t be found. The LORD is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble; you will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully, doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed so that mere humans from the earth may terrify them no more.
Genesis 1:20 (CSB) Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.”
Isaiah 10:6–12 (CSB) I will send him against a godless nation; I will command him to go against a people destined for my rage, to take spoils, to plunder, and to trample them down like clay in the streets. But this is not what he intends; this is not what he plans. It is his intent to destroy and to cut off many nations. For he says, “Aren’t all my commanders kings? Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus? As my hand seized the kingdoms of worthless images, kingdoms whose idols exceeded those of Jerusalem and Samaria, and as I did to Samaria and its worthless images will I not also do to Jerusalem and its idols?” But when the Lord finishes all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for his arrogant acts and the proud look in his eyes.”
Psalm 1:6 (CSB) For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
1 John 2:16 (CSB) For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world.
The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends. So that whatsoever befalls any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory, and their good.
2 Chronicles 32:25–31 (CSB) However, because his heart was proud, Hezekiah didn’t respond according to the benefit that had come to him. So there was wrath on him, Judah, and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart—he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem—so the LORD’s wrath didn’t come on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime. Hezekiah had abundant riches and glory, and he made himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and every desirable item. He made warehouses for the harvest of grain, new wine, and fresh oil, and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and pens for flocks. He made cities for himself, and he acquired vast numbers of flocks and herds, for God gave him abundant possessions. This same Hezekiah blocked the upper outlet of the water from the Gihon Spring and channeled it smoothly downward and westward to the city of David. Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did. When the ambassadors of Babylon’s rulers were sent to him to inquire about the miraculous sign that happened in the land, God left him to test him and discover what was in his heart.
2 Corinthians 12:7–9 (CSB) especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so that I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it would leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.
Romans 8:28 (CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as the righteous judge, for former sin doth blind and harden; from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understanding, and wrought upon their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, under those means which God useth for the softening of others.
Romans 1:24–28 (CSB) Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen. For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. The men in the same way also left natural relations with women and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error. And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right.
Romans 11:7–8 (CSB) What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear, to this day.
Deuteronomy 29:4 (CSB) Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, eyes to see, or ears to hear.
Matthew 13:12 (CSB) For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Deuteronomy 2:30 (CSB) But King Sihon of Heshbon would not let us travel through his land, for the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to hand him over to you, as has now taken place.
2 Kings 8:12–13 (CSB) and Hazael asked, “Why is my lord weeping?” He replied, “Because I know the evil you will do to the people of Israel. You will set their fortresses on fire. You will kill their young men with the sword. You will dash their children to pieces. You will rip open their pregnant women.” Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, do such a mighty deed?” Elisha answered, “The LORD has shown me that you will be king over Aram.”
Psalm 81:11–12 (CSB) “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel did not obey me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own plans.
2 Thessalonians 2:10–12 (CSB) and with every wicked deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe the lie, so that all will be condemned—those who did not believe the truth but delighted in unrighteousness.
Exodus 8:15–32 (CSB) But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the LORD had said. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the land, and it will become gnats throughout the land of Egypt.” And they did this. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and when he struck the dust of the land, gnats were on people and animals. All the dust of the land became gnats throughout the land of Egypt. The magicians tried to produce gnats using their occult practices, but they could not. The gnats remained on people and animals. “This is the finger of God,” the magicians said to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said. The LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh when you see him going out to the water. Tell him: This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. But if you will not let my people go, then I will send swarms of flies against you, your officials, your people, and your houses. The Egyptians’ houses will swarm with flies, and so will the land where they live. But on that day I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where my people are living; no flies will be there. This way you will know that I, the LORD, am in the land. I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.” And the LORD did this. Thick swarms of flies went into Pharaoh’s palace and his officials’ houses. Throughout Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go sacrifice to your God within the country.” But Moses said, “It would not be right to do that, because what we will sacrifice to the LORD our God is detestable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice what the Egyptians detest in front of them, won’t they stone us? We must go a distance of three days into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as he instructs us.” Pharaoh responded, “I will let you go and sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness, but don’t go very far. Make an appeal for me.” “As soon as I leave you,” Moses said, “I will appeal to the LORD, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will depart from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. But Pharaoh must not act deceptively again by refusing to let the people go and sacrifice to the LORD.” Then Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the LORD. The LORD did as Moses had said: He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people; not one was left. But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not let the people go.
Isaiah 6:9–10 (CSB) And he replied: Go! Say to these people: Keep listening, but do not understand; keep looking, but do not perceive. Make the minds of these people dull; deafen their ears and blind their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their minds, turn back, and be healed.
1 Peter 2:7–8 (CSB) So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected— this one has become the cornerstone, and A stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this.
As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it taketh care of his church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof.
1 Timothy 4:10 (CSB) For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Amos 9:8–9 (CSB) Look, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, and I will obliterate it from the face of the earth. However, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob— this is the LORD’s declaration— for I am about to give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations, as one shakes a sieve, but not a pebble will fall to the ground.
Isaiah 43:3–5 (CSB) For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior. I have given Egypt as a ransom for you, Cush and Seba in your place. Because you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you, I will give people in exchange for you and nations instead of your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west.