Joseph: Special Providence

Ursinus-62.  The history of Joseph furnishes a remarkable proof of a special providence in regard to rational creatures. “It was not you that sent me here, but God.” “You thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good.” (Genesis 45:8; Genesis 50:20) The history of Pharoah as recorded in the book of Exodus, establishes the same thing. “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?” “And the Lord said to Joshua, be not afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time will I deliver them all up slain before Israel.” “The Lord has said unto Shimei, ‘Curse David.'” “And the Lord said, we shall persuade Ahab, etc.  And he said, You shall persuade him, and prevail also.” “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He will.” “The Lord turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them.” (Exodus 4:11; Joshua 11:6; 2 Samuel 16:10; 1 Kings 22:20; Proverbs 21:1; Ezra 6:22)

The Lord also calls the king of the Assyrians, “the rod of His anger,” and adds, “when the Lord has performed His whole work upon Mount Zion, and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.” “Who is he that says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord commands it not.” “He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand, or say to Him, what are You doing?” “Herod and Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your counsel determined to be done.” (Isaiah 10:6, 12; Lamentations 3:37; Daniel 4:35; Acts 4:27, 28)

Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, p. 155

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