Musings on Sovereignty 4

The late deservedly celebrated Dr. Young, though he affected great opposition to some of the doctrines called Calvinistic, was yet compelled, by the force of truth, to acknowledge that “there is not a fly but has had infinite wisdom concerned not only in its structure, but in its destination.” Nor did the late learned and excellent Bishop Hopkins go a jot too far in asserting as follows: “A sparrow, whose price is but mean, two of them valued at a farthing (which some make to be the tenth part of a Roman penny, and was certainly one of their least coins), and whose life, therefore, is but contemptible, and whose flight seems giddy and at random; yet it falls not to the ground, neither lights anywhere, without your Father. His all-wise Providence hath before appointed what bough it shall pitch on, what grains it shall pick up, where it shall lodge, and where it shall build; on what it shall live, and where it shall die.” Our Savior adds, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. God keeps an account even of that stringy excrescence. Do you see a thousand little motes and atoms wondering up and down in a sun-beam? It is God that so peoples it, and He guides their innumerable and irregular strayings. Not a dust flies in a beaten road but God raiseth it, conducts its uncertain motion, and, by His particular care, conveys it to the certain place He had before appointed for it; nor shall the most fierce and tempestuous wind hurry it any further. Nothing comes to pass but God hath His ends in it, and will certainly make His own ends out of it. Though the world seems to run at random, and affairs to be huddled together in blind confusion, and rude disorder, yet, God sees and knows the concatenation of all causes and effects, and so governs them that He makes a perfect harmony out of all those seeming jarrings and discords. It is most necessary that we should have our hearts well established in the firm and unwavering belief of this truth, that whatsoever comes to pass, be it good or evil, we may look up to the hand and disposal of all, to God. In respect of God, there is nothing causal nor contingent in the world. Augustus Toplady

The typical person in the modern world is simply blind to the greatness and glory of God. A fly is nothing but a nuisance to the person that is absorbed with self and self-interest and who cares about the lowly sparrow. The typical person in the modern world has a naturalistic mindset and sees all things in a physical sense as if the deepest reason for all things is a result of natural laws and blind chance. A person gets sick simply because of either a genetic issue or because of a virus or bacteria. A person gets well simply because of proper medication. A person lives as if all things are on his or her shoulders and abilities.

For the person with the biblical understanding of God absolutely everything happens as a result of Divine providence. This person lives with the understanding that each and every hair that s/he has is numbered by God. God does not number each hair of a person simply as an act of bare knowledge, but that text of Scripture points to the reality that God knows absolutely everything about us and that His people are in His intimate care. It is not that all things will happen according to the way our fallen hearts will desire for them to happen, but all will happen according to the infinite wisdom and plan of God. We must seek Him for hearts that will bow in sweet surrender and absolute submission.

Toplady points us to the great truth that we would have much benefit to meditate on and that truth is that as a truck drives down a dusty road, each bit of dust is in the hand of God. Every bit of dust is raised by God and the motion of it according to His divine plan. Each bit of dust in under His particular care and He moves it precisely to the place He has appointed it. Regardless of the wind and regardless of all the other things going on around that bit of dust and all those bits of dust, they cannot move that dust in any location other than what God has ordained for that dust to go. The path and location of dust points us to the fact that nothing can come to pass unless God ordains it so and it will happen for His purposes.

As we think and meditate upon great truths like this, it should give us a great firmness in our faith in God. All that happens to us can only happen if He has planned it from all eternity and that for the good of His people. All that goes on around us, in us, and happens to us is not apart from His specific and careful plan that was planned with infinite wisdom. As each particle of dust cannot move apart from the great goal of His glory, so God works all events in the lives of His children for His glory as well. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, but only God can work that in and for His people. Only God can give us hearts to enjoy His glory.

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