Theology Thursday

Q.11. What are God’s works of providence?

A. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

Westminster Shorter Catechism

We are over 10 weeks into the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Written in the 1600’s, it was designed to teach people all they needed to know about what God has revealed in the Scriptures using what’s called the catechism method of question & answer.

Now, onto today's question & answer. Let’s break it down. Firstly, what is providence?

Western society, previous to around the 1800’s, took for granted that all of history was governed by God’s hand. Why were you born when/where you were? Why did that nation survive where another did not? Why was it raining today?

The answer to all these questions can be multifaceted. E.g It was always likely to rain because it’s summer and La Nina. But behind every naturalistic or scientific or sociological answer is a deeper truth. It’s providence. God’s design implemented through almost always ordinary means like weather cycles, astrological cycles, genetics and so on.

Why is understanding providence important? Well, as the Catechism says, providence reminds us of the holiness, wisdom and power of God. Holiness in that only a God could so weave creation together. Wisdom in that only a wise God could make it all work. Power in that only the most powerful God could create and shape the forces of nature and humanity.

All of these things finally lead us to humility and submission. Recognising again that we are not God, but He is. And that human wisdom is to trust this God when He says that He is working all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

For Today:
  • Do you believe in providence?
  • What do you find hard to understand about God’s providence?
  • How does it help you knowing God is in control?

  • Praise the Father for His holiness, wisdom and power. 
  • Give thanks that He has worked all things for good for those who love Him. 
  • Ask God for His Holy Spirit to help you trust Him in His providence.

Passages: Isaiah 46:8–10, Acts 17:26–27, Ephesians 1:11–12, Matthew 10:29–31

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