Awe in Remembrance

Remembrance and its opposite - Tenth in a series

When God studies our hearts to find out if we appreciate his care and help, he will look first to see whether we love Jesus Christ.

Reflecting upon the providential works of the Lord, Psalm 22 comes to mind. Here, Israel's King David prophesies Christ's crucifixion, a thousand years before the event:

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. (Ps 22:15-18)

The vision is exact: specific details are foreseen, later to be corroborated in the Gospel accounts.

How does the Spirit impart the future to a human mind? Is time an illusion? How does it happen that evil men providentially crucified God's only begotten son to make him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36)? Surely God is in control of all events and all people, a comforting thought, though jarring.

Which is the more jarring thought: That Christ chose to be cruelly crucified, sacrificing his life so that we might be reconciled to the Father; or that God the Father demanded capital punishment for the sin of man, designing that nothing but the death of his only son could render that justice; or that we, the sheep of his pasture, are provided not only salvation and eternal life, but also daily help for every need by our loving God and Creator?

Can anyone enumerate the works of God?

Remembrance and its opposite - Eighth in a series

In our previous post, we focused on remembering the Lord for his work of Creation. Now we turn to his works of providence.

A Sunday School teacher may be asked: What is providence? Usually a student would like to understand how— if God controls all of history— can man have free will? This is not easy to explain. At such times it's well to have the Westminster Confession and Catechisms on hand. The first tenet of Chapter 3 in the Confession, "Of God's Eternal Decree," states:

God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

Beyond that, the first point of Chapter 5, Of Providence, is pertinent:

God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.

For any who are not familiar with the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, more information is here.

In the Larger Catechism a question is framed: How doth God execute his decrees? The answer is: God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.

What are these works? The Larger Catechism explains: God's works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to his own glory.

We can be sure that God is working all things together for good, for those who love him. (Rom 8:28) Whether supplying our individual needs and desires or superintending the overarching culture and events that affect our lives, God’s works of providence will culminate in fullest blessing for the faithful.

We are warned that to forget his immeasurable kindness and faithful watchcare is a deadly oversight. (Deut 8:19) We are encouraged to trust that God is working his purposes out: a day is coming when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isa 11:9)

Psalm 106 is an uplifting litany of God's faithful help and works on behalf of his children, despite their —and our— frequent disobedience and wandering from his pastures. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry. (Ps 106:44) What he has done for others, he will do for you.

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise? (Ps 106:1-2)

Fully Remembered

Remembrance and its opposite - Third in a series

Nehemiah asked God to remember him for his work in reforming the lives and worship of those who returned to Israel after the dispersion. Remember me, O my God, for good. (Neh 13:31)

Solomon wanted God to remember his father, David, as he asked for his help and presence while dedicating the newly built temple. Perhaps God might not be mindful of him, a man not yet proven, but he would not forget King David! (2 Ch 6:42)

In these instances, the men were not sure whether God might recall their deeds, while in the previous post we looked at some who wondered if they had been forgotten altogether by God.

It is neither possible for God to forget any person nor any deed or even any of our thoughts. He is omniscient. Psalm 139 relates David's amazement at the Lord's in-depth knowledge of his life: For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (Ps 139:2-4)

There is nowhere we can hide from our omnipresent God. Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (Jer 23:24)

His remembrance is not restricted to humans. He calls each of billions of stars by their names (Ps 147:4), so he certainly knows each person's name. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Heb 4:13)

He sees when a sparrow falls and more important, the hairs of our heads are all numbered. (Mat 10:29-31) And though such an endearment may not be expressed to the rebellious, He nevertheless is fully aware of all the details of their lives.

In his omnipotence the Lord is able to help us with each detail of our lives and events we cannot foresee. He knows what is in our bank account or refrigerator and can judge our capacity to survive. (Mat 17:27; 1 Ki 17:11-12) Our role? Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. (Luke 12:32)

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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