Saturday, November 8, 2014

Everything Ordered By God

We are not as those who believe in two co-existent forces, each supreme, one of whom shall create disasters, and the other shall distribute blessings. The prince of evil is, according to our faith, subordinate to the great Lord of all. Thus saith Jehovah, by the mouth of his servant Isaiah, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and I create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

He reigneth in the calm summer’s day, and gives us the precious fruits of harvest, but he is equally present and regnant in the hurricane which destroys, or the blight which desolates. His providence speeds the ship to its desired haven, but it is equally his providence which sinks the barque and its mariners to the bottom of the sea. It is his power which looses the bands of Orion and binds the sweet influence of the Pleiades; his are the lightnings as well as the sunbeams, the thunderbolts as well as the raindrops. He is able to make the heaven as iron and the earth as brass, so that our land shall not yield her increase; he can call for a famine and break the whole staff of bread; for famine, pestilence, and war are as rods in his hand.

Everywhere is God, and in all things his hand is present: in the things which seem to us to be evil as well as in the events which appear to us to be good, God is at work. He doeth no wrong, for God is not tempted of evil, neither tempteth he any man, but we speak of physical evil, which causeth sorrow, pain, and death among men, and we say that certainly God is there. If not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father, we are sure that no great calamity can befall us apart from him. He is not far from us in our deepest sorrow, and however we may trace a calamity to the carelessness or the mistake of men, these are but the second causes, and we see behind all mere detail the permit of the Lord. If it were not so, mourners would be deprived of the greatest reason for submission, and the surest source of consolation.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Divine Interpositions," delivered September 8, 1878. Image by Steven Bratman on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.

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