The eleventh in a series of 17 sermons
This series of sermon follow the articles of the Belgic Confession to present an bird’s eye view of the main doctrines of the Bible.
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Article 13: The Doctrine of God’s Providence
We believe that this good God, after He created all things, did not abandon them to chance or fortune but leads and governs them according to His holy will, in such a way that nothing happens in this world without His orderly arrangement. Yet God is not the author of, nor can He be charged with, the sin that occurs. For His power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible that He arranges and does His work very well and justly even when the devils and wicked men act unjustly. We do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what He does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend. But in all humility and reverence we adore the just judgments of God, which are hidden from us, being content to be Christ’s disciples, so as to learn only what He shows us in His Word, without going beyond those limits. This doctrine gives us unspeakable comfort since it teaches us that nothing can happen to us by chance but only by the arrangement of our gracious heavenly Father. He watches over us with fatherly care, keeping all creatures under His control, so that not one of the hairs on our heads (for they are all numbered) nor even a little bird can fall to the ground without the will of our Father. In this thought we rest, knowing that He holds in check the devils and all our enemies, who cannot hurt us without His permission and will. For that reason we reject the damnable error of the Epicureans, who say that God involves Himself in nothing and leaves everything to chance
Psalm 104 (NIV84)
1Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
4He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.
5He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
6You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them.
9You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.
10He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.
11They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.
13He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth:
15wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.
16The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the pine trees.
18The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
19The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.
20You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
22The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens.
23Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
24How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.
26There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
27These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
28When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
29When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
35But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord.