14 August 2013

The Mystery of God's Providence

Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. (Matt 10:29, NASB)
The mystery of God's providence is a most sublime consideration. It is easy to let our reason run away with itself. It is at a loss when it attempts to search into the eternal decrees of election or the entangled mazes and labyrinths in which the divine providence walks. We will have to give up the search for it, and can never be fully satisfied unless we relieve ourselves as Paul (Rom 11:33).

This knowledge is too wonderful for us. It is impossible to conduct ourselves into that secret place, that pavilion of clouds and surrounding darkness, where God sits holding the helm of the world. Our Savior encouraged the disciples not to worry about those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul. The clay pot may be broken, but it is like the opening of the prison door to let the soul escape to its desired liberty. But even this they can only do when God permits. They cannot so much as touch us without his permission.

Notice how particular is God's providence. It is directed to the most trifling occurrences in the world; a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without the heavenly Father. His providence has even appointed what branch it will land upon, what grains it shall pick up, where it shall lodge, where it shall build, and when it shall die. Not one particle of dust moves on a well-traveled road, but God raises it, directs its motion, and directs it to the specific place he appointed for it. The strongest wind cannot move it from its appointed place.

Man can be very confident that God exercises the most accurate providence over him and his affairs. Nothing comes to pass without our heavenly Father. No evil comes to pass without his permissive providence, and no good without his ordaining providence to his own ends.

— Ezekiel Hopkins, as quoted in Voices from the Past, ed. Richard Rushing, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

Further Reading


  1. Would that my brothers and sisters in Christ had this branded on their heart and engraved on their mind for indeed our brother has said correctly "Nothing comes to pass without our heavenly Father."
    Sadly, some allow God to be sovereign up to a point, but when their cherished beliefs are challenged rebellion too often takes place instead of humble submission.
    When we fully understand that our being a child of God is for His pleasure and our sins were forgiven only for His Name's sake we begin to see Him as He is, high and lifted up, holy, and totally sovereign over all creation, especially man (Isa. 43:24 & 63:14; Col. 1:16; 1John 2:12; Ezek. 36:22).

  2. Great post. The amazing sovereignty, wisdom, and love of God is the fundamental truth that encourages the body of Christ to trust the Amazing almighty God. For many years I have had the privilege of expressing the truth of the providence of God with people dealing with major and minor issues. But ultimately this truth has transformed my life from a life of indecision and failure to a life of purpose and hope. I would hope that the people of God can truly grasp the depth of this fact and worship the One.

  3. The last paragraph says it all.

    Great is His Faithfulness.!!!!!!!.

  4. Resting in the knowledge of God's providence comes easy for me when life is going well. God still continues to grow me so that I also rest securely in this knowledge when life isn't going well (in which God is allowing my faith to be tested - example Mark 4:37-40)

    God's Word encourages me in Psalm 136, everything that happens - from the great wonders and heavens God made (v.4, 5), to being in the wilderness (v.16), to besieged by enemies (v.24), to needing daily bread (v.25), to everything else, it is all controlled by God 'For His mercy endures forever.' And I'm to respond to His incredible display of mercy and goodness to me, by giving thanks to the LORD!


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