Jun 8, 2011

"He knew they would be, because he decreed they should be" - John Gill

Providence, of which we are now about to treat, must be considered as distinct from praevidence, praevision, prescience, foresight, foreknowledge, and predestination; which all respect some act in the divine mind in eternity; and are no other than the eternal purposes and decrees of God, who foresaw and foreknew all persons and things that would be; he determining within himself that they should be; for "known unto him were all his works from the beginning", or from eternity; even all that would be done in time, from the beginning to the end of the world; he knew they would be, because he decreed they should be; this may be called eternal providence, virtual providence, providence in purpose; but providence in time, which is what is now under consideration and may be called actual providence, is the execution of whatsoever God has foreknown and determined; "Who worketh all things after the counsel of his will" (Eph. 1:11), the eternal will of God is the rule of his conduct in providence, according to which he proceeds in it; and his wisdom, which fixed his will, and therefore said to be the counsel of his will, presides, guides, and directs in the execution of it; which execution of it is called his working; wherefore providence is to be reckoned as his work. The wise man says, "There is a time to every purpose under the heaven"; whatever is done under the heavens in time, there was a purpose for it in eternity; and for the execution of that purpose a time was fixed; and at that time it is brought about by the providence of God; who "makes everything beautiful in his time"; in the time and season in which he appointed it to be done (Eccl. 3:1,11). Purpose and providence exactly tally and answer to each other; the one is the fulfillment of the other; "Surely, as I have thought", saith the Lord, "so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand" (Isa. 14:24).

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions