Confession of Faith
Chapter 5: Of Providence
Q 4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;1 and that not by a bare permission,2 but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,3 and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;4 yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.5
For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
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?”
2 Samuel 24:1
24:1 Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”
1 Chronicles 21:1
21:1 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.
1 Kings 22:22-23
And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you.”
1 Chronicles 10:4
Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.
2 Samuel 16:10
But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’”
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (ESV)
In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. (ESV)
Surely the wrath of man shall praise you;
the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.
2 Kings 19:28
Because you have raged against me
and your complacency has come into my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will turn you back on the way
by which you came. (ESV)
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
But he does not so intend,
and his heart does not so think;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few;
When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. (ESV)
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. (ESV)