Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Turned by God’s Hand

Proverbs 21:1

Whenever God is pleased to make way for his providence, even in external matters he turns and bends the wills of men. Whatever the freedom of their choice may be, it is still subject to the disposal of God. Daily experience teaches that your mind depends more on the agency of God than the freedom of your own choice. Your judgment often fails, and in matters of no great difficulty your courage flags. At other times, in matters of the greatest obscurity, the mode of explaining them at once suggests itself, while in matters of moment and danger, your mind rises superior to every difficulty.

In this way, I interpret the words of Solomon, "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD has made even both of them" (Prov. 20:12). For they seem to me to refer not to their creation, but to peculiar grace in the use of them. When he says, "The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever place he will" (Prov. 21:1), he comprehends the whole race under one particular class. If any will is free from subjection, it must be that of one possessing magnificent power, and in a manner exercising dominion over other wills. But if it is under the hand of God, our will surely cannot be exempt from it.

On this subject there is an admirable sentiment of Augustine, "Scripture, if it be carefully examined, will show not only that the good wills of men are made good by God out of evil, and when so made, are directed to good acts, even to eternal life, but those which retain the elements of the world are in the power of God, to turn them to what place he pleases, and when he pleases, either to perform acts of kindness, or by a hidden, yet indeed, most just judgment to inflict punishment."
—John Calvin

Readings taken from Day by Day With John Calvin


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