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Catechism Class: LD10A, Q27 – Nothing Happens by Chance


Catechism Class – LD10A Q27

Nothing Happens by Chance!

How God Cares for His Created World and Everything In It! 

We are looking at the first part of Heidelberg Catechism, LD10, – Q27. which asks, LD10 Q.27  What do you understand by the providence of God?

A. God’s providence is his almighty and ever present power, 1 whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, 2 and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, 3 indeed, all things, come to us not by chance 4 but by his fatherly hand

So – Life’s a Lottery? Are you quite SURE about that?

Listen to the PODCAST HERE.

When God had created the world, he RESTED from all his works on the seventh day.  From His works of creation, but his works of preservation and provision continued.  God provides for the needs of all creation, and he continues to own, govern and preserve the universe that he made.  We call this THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD.

So, what is ‘The Providence of God?’  One commentator describes it simply as “God’s sovereignty for us…”.   Essentially, the Providence of God is the ever present, extraordinary power of God to control events, to bring everything into conformity with his will.  God’s power is:- 

  • Infinite.  THe catechist speaks of God’s power as ‘Almighty.’  God’s power is UNLIMITED.  
  • Ever Present.   This has huge consequences for us.  Jeremiah 23:23-24;   

Let’s see how our catechist describes the implications and impact of God’s unlimited and ever present power upon the universe, and our world, both the created world, and my own private world, my life:-

  • God Conserves.  whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, Acts 17:24-28.  
  • God Controls.   There’s not a thing that happens in this world that God has not ordained.  Note the comprehensiveness of this.  God is in charge of and sustains the most minute particles that make up this world and the universe.  Even in the make up of the atom, God is holding together all those particles together, by his mighty preserving power and love for his creation.  The catechist tells us that God so governs the universe that none of these things come to us by chance.  Now look at the list…
    • Leaf and blade, Psalm 65:10-11    
    • Rain and drought, Jer 5:24;  
    • Fruitful and barren years.  It’s hard to see anything good coming from 2020-21, for people have fallen prey to mental illness, excessive fear, loneliness, misdiagnosed and undiagnosed illness, many of those illnesses very serious, lost years of education, lost jobs, lost lives, lost loved ones and so on.  But for the believer, we must see God’s hand even in this great time of unfruitfulness.  God has brought us through this, just as surely as he brings us through years of plenty.  Perhaps he has done so because of the sinful state of the people who claim to be His people? Deuteronomy 28:15-20  
    • Food and drink, Acts 14:17 
    • Health and sickness, Jn 9:3.
    • Riches and poverty, Prov 22:2.  
  • God Cares. indeed, all things, come to us not by chance 4 but by his fatherly hand. Mt 10:29.  29   As we noticed in our last lesson, God is our father, and he cares for us as a father cares.  And we are taught to cast all of our cares upon him,  But why would a God who cares about his children send them sickness?  It’s one of the great issues of the modern visible church, where the understanding of God’s absolute sovereignty and legislative power over his creation is so poor. Some extreme Charismatics will tell you that God wants everyone to be healthy all the time, and the reason that we are not healthy is because of our own lack of faith.  The catechist is not shy about this.  There will come time in your life when it will be God’s will for you to die.  It is necessary, so that you can go away from this life and go to be with the Lord in heaven, and  he may well use some for of sickness in order to bring that death to pass.  He also uses illness, from time to time, and sometimes brings us through times of great hardship, and great sorrow, so that we learn to trust him more and more.  

God Provides for the Believer!  While God cares for all of his creation, there is a special provision for God’s own people. Psalm 37:25   In the Bible he provided food and water in the wilderness for the children of Israel, he fed Elijah at the brook,  he enabled Elisha to feed 100 men from 20 barley loaves, and Jesus fed multitudes of people with tiny amounts of food on at least two occasions.

Now, there is one sure conclusion to come from this part of Q27 and its answer, and that is that LUCK has no place in the thinking of the Christian believer.  Prov 16:33.   How has the Lord Our Provider watched over us and blessed us?

As Christians do we ever, in our speech, betray the providence of God?  I think sometimes we do – when we speak of chance, or good luck or fortune… when we understand the providence of God, we realise that Nothing happens by chance!   

To ascribe any act, event or circumstance to ‘luck’ is to blaspheme the gracious providence of God!  Instead, let us see the kindly hand of God our Loving Father in every minute, every second, every event of our lives.

Praise in this episode: Psalm 65:9-13

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