Vespers – Spurgeon’s Question 8

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

  • Revelation 4:11

All the peoples of the earth
    are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
    with the powers of heaven
    and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
    or say to him: “What have you done?”

  • Daniel 4:35

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

  • Ephesians 1:11-12

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

  • 1 Peter 1:1-2

“Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?
“A. God executes his decrees in the works of creation (Rev. 4:11) and providence (Dan. 4:35).”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Catechism

“Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?
“A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.”

  • The Shorter Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

“Q. 14. How doth God execute his decrees?
“A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.”

  • The Larger Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

The Shorter and Larger Catechisms use a verb from the old KJV, and probably the Spurgeon’s Catechism in its earlier edition.  Again the Larger, question 14 instead of 8, is a little longer to tie in the concept of infallible foreknowledge and God’s will, thus a few more Scriptures.

We have here, imbedded within, the question of our free will versus God’s will.  I have heard a lot of Bible study lessons, read commentaries, and talked to folks on this subject.  I told a close friend that God kept convicting me of my sin while I kept thinking that I could reserve part of my life instead of an unconditional surrender.  The point being that if I had continued to resist much longer, I would have gone insane.  The pressure of my sin crashing down on me, and I was a relatively good kid, was too much to bear.  My sin was mostly feeling that I could go it alone.  If I did not harm others, why not?  But God wants a meaningful relationship, not someone that convinces themselves that they can be “nice” without God.

So, we have free will, but God’s infallible foreknowledge orchestrated the romance of Boaz and Ruth, the great-grandparents of King David.  Why orchestrate a love affair if David would exercise his free will and go a different direction?

Some people get hung up between predestination, the elect, and foreknowledge.  Yet, if God reigns supreme and His foreknowledge is infallible, as the Larger states, then is God not orchestrating things for the good of those that either love God or will one day love God?

They say that marriages are made in Heaven.  There were many factors that had to fall in place for my wife and I to even meet.  She was born in Indonesia, moved to Holland, moved back to Indonesia, and upon the second move to Holland, my father-in-law was convinced that moving to the USA was necessary to have a life of Hope and Promise for his children.  Even then, my father-in-law moved to El Paso, TX and before my wife’s senior year of high school, moved to Port Arthur, TX.  My wife went into the Air Force during the Vietnam War and then moved back in with her parents afterwards, never finding Mr. “Right.”

I grew up my entire life in Mississippi, but then I got a military commitment in college.  That commitment scared off most employers, although I graduated tops in my class.  I only had one job offer when at the last minute the Army wanted me to defer the commitment and go to graduate school.  I got an apartment a couple of blocks from the petrochemical plant and my landlady’s husband worked with my future wife at a nearby hospital.

In these two paragraphs, any change in any of these circumstances would have led to us not meeting.  And to think that God orchestrates such things for such events to occur.  Some of it is our own free will and God has the foreknowledge, but some things are orchestrated through others, and we go along for the ride.  And some people do things that affect our future and have no idea what they were doing would affect anyone but themselves.  The romance of Ruth and Boaz involved Naomi, but the importance was a great-grandson named David.

God is sovereign in He is in control.

And now let us sing.

This version of Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is our God skips the third verse, but I like David Wesley’s arrangement.  This is David Wesley’s fourth virtual choir.  He is now up to twelve, as of this writing.  Not all of his projects grow in the number of singers because some are quick projects.  But he keeps adding “stuff,” making each a Joy to the ears and eyes as you see the people change on the screen.

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
    On earth is not his equal.
  1. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
    Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
    Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
    Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
    And He must win the battle.
  2. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
    One little word shall fell him.
  3. That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
    The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
    Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
    The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
    His kingdom is forever.”
  4. Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is our God

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord,
Thank You for executing your decrees and having a divine will that governs the entire universe.  One of the greatest ways in knowing You exist, and are in control, is that we keep searching for our purpose in life, and that perfect purpose in life is in doing the job You planned for us to do all along.
In thy Name we pray.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: