Providence: Part 4

Question:  Now give the fourth main part of the doctrine of God’s providence.


Caspar_OlevianusThere are still other creatures that we do not see, namely, the angels and the demons. The believer should remember, first of all, that God the Lord uses the angels (which are superior spirits) to serve and protect His believers or confederates, as He promises in Psalm 34, Psalm 91, and Genesis 24.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.  Psalm 34:6, 7

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11

The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘To yourdescendants I will give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there.  Genesis 24:7

39 I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman does not follow me.’ 40 He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house;  Genesis 24: 39, 40

Second, although He does not rule the demons (which seek to undo the salvation of the elect) with His Spirit as He does the angels, by His power and wisdom He still employs them in such a way that they cannot even move except as it pleases Him. In fact, it is precisely in resisting His will that they, of necessity, fulfill it (Job 1, Luke 22, Romans 16, 1 Corinthians 10)

Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.  Job 1:9-12

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22:31, 32

19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  Romans 16:19, 20

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:12, 13

Caspar Olevianus, A Firm Foundation, p. 30

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