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The Wanderer
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God's Providence

If God controls all things, how can our actions have real meaning? What are the decrees of God? EXPLANATION AND SCRIPTURAL BASIS Once we understand that God is the all-powerful Creator (see chapter 15), it seems reasonable to conclude that he also preserves and governs everything in the universe as well. Though the term providence is not found in Scripture, it has been traditionally used to summarize God’s ongoing relationship to his creation. When we accept the biblical doctrine of providence, we avoid four common errors in thinking about God’s relationship to creation. The biblical doctrine is not deism (which teaches that God created the world and then essentially abandoned it), nor pantheism (which teaches that the creation does not have a real, distinct existence in itself, but is only part of God), but providence, which teaches that though God is actively related to and involved in the creation at each moment, creation is distinct from him. Moreover, the biblical doctrine does not teach that events in creation are determined by chance (or randomness), nor are they determined by impersonal impersonal fate (or determinism), but by God, who is the personal yet infinitely powerful Creator and Lord. (Grudem, Wayne A.. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (p. 315). Zondervan. Kindle Edition).

 

 

How then could we define God's Providence, from scripture, or other commentary?

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JoeMo

Just my opinion, but God is transcendent of time; and therefore knows the beginning from the end.  It's like a chess game with God - he knows every mover we're gonna make (by our own free will); but He has a countermove to attempt to put us on the right track every time.  Look how he used pagans to perform His will when disciplining Israel.

An example is the Exodus.  Did God really harden Pharaoh's heart with the plagues He sent on Egypt; or did Pharaoh choose to harden his heart!  I think it was the latter.  God's people were gonna go back to Canaan either the easy way or the hard way.  Pharaoh chose the hard way, and Egypt was destroyed because of it.  Another example on the other end of the spectrum is Cyrus letting the Jews go back to Jerusalem.  Their captivity was over, and the Jews were going back the easy way or the hard way.  Cyrus chose the easy way; and was blessed for it.

Here is another way God imposes His providence on us:

"“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others." (Dan. 2:20-21)

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The Wanderer
On 1/20/2019 at 9:20 PM, JoeMo said:

An example is the Exodus.  Did God really harden Pharaoh's heart with the plagues He sent on Egypt

Did the Bible really say it? :)

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JoeMo
On 1/22/2019 at 9:53 AM, The Wanderer said:

Did the Bible really say it? :)

Yes, it does; but taking it literally seems to take away Pharaoh's free will in the matter.  Could it be that God foreknew (rather than predestined) that Pharaoh would choose to let these things these signs harden his heart; but performed the signs anyways.

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