Providence Defined: 3

But providence is the eternal, most free, immutable, wise, just and good counsel of God, according to which He effects all good things in His creatures; permits also evil things to be done, and directs all, both good and evil, to His own glory and the salvation of His people.

Ursinus-6Unchangeable.  Because neither error nor change can occur with God; but what He has once decreed from everlasting, that being most good and just He wills everlastingly, and at length brings to pass. “I am the Lord, I change not.” “The strength of Israel will not lie nor repent.” (Malachi 3:6; 1 Samuel 15:29) Also Numbers 23:19; Job 23:13; Psalm 33:11; Proverbs 19:21.

19 “God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?  Numbers 23:19

13 “But He is unique and who can turn Him?
And what His soul desires, that He does.  Job 23:13

11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.  Psalm 33:11

21 Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand.  Proverbs 19:21

Most wise.  This is evident from the wonderful course of events, and things in the world. “With Him is strength and wisdom.” “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” (Job 12:16; Romans 11:33) Also 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; Job 36:23; Psalm 33:15; 119:2-6.

When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:6, 7

38 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart, and spreading his hands toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men, 40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.  1 Kings 8:38-40

22 “Behold, God is exalted in His power;
Who is a teacher like Him?
23 “Who has appointed Him His way,
And who has said, ‘You have done wrong’?  Job 36:22, 23

13 The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
14 From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.  Psalm 33:13-15

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
You have ordained Your precepts,
[c]That we should keep them diligently.
Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.  Psalm 119:1-6

Most just.  because the will of God is the fountain and pattern of justice. “There is no iniquity with Lord our God, nor respect of persons.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)  Also Nehemiah 9:33; Job 9:2; Psalm 36:7; Psalm 119:137; Daniel 9:7, 14.

32 “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving-kindness,
Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You,
Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people,
From the days of the kings of Assyria to this day.
33 “However, You are just in all that has come upon us;
For You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.  Nehemiah 9:32, 33

“In truth I know that this is so;
But how can a man be in the right before God?
“If one wished to dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.  Job 9:2, 3

Your loving-kindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  Psalm 36:5-7

137 Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments.  Psalm 119:137

“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You.  Daniel 9:7

14 Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.  Daniel 9:14

Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, p. 152

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