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Covenant Fellowship Greensboro

The Bad and Good Fatherly Providence

Basic to biblical Christianity is the truth that the Triune God is the Creator and providential ruler of all he has created. God sustains and perfects his creation. Paul tells us that in God we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). God always exercise a good fatherly providence over creation and thereby works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. When we bring our lives into conformity to God's word we become wise in knowing how to exercise good providence with those we are called to serve and to whom we have a duty. We must recognize, though, that just because we are in God's kingdom does not mean that all our thoughts and actions conform to God's word. Though Jacob was in the kingdom, the object of God's covenant blessing, nonetheless, he often exercised foolish fatherly providence. He did this because he was focused on himself and his likes, which led him to play favorites among his sons. Focused on himself he was primarily concerned with how things affected him, quite ignorant of the true character of the relationships among his sons, and giving counsel about what others should do. The result was that he nearly got his youngest son killed and it resulted in significant suffering. Despite Jacob's sin, and while he was still morally to blame for it, God intervened and used it to rescue his covenant people. It all reveals the wisdom, power and mercy of God and the folly, weakness and guilt of God's sinful people.
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