A Little Time With The 1689: Day 87


Day 87

Of Divine Providence

Chapter 5, Paragraph 3.

God, in his ordinary Providence maketh use of means;...

Scripture Lookup

Acts 27:31, 44.

Isa. 55:10, 11.


Probability and statistics was the most interesting math class I ever took. While many of my fellow classmates struggled in confusion over graphs and outliers, I, who had never been mathematically inclined, understood what to look for. To be able to accurately predict an outcome based on data, there had to be results that were more likely to occur. What could be considered dry and boring became fascinating.

We see this with God’s providence as well. Ordinarily, God uses means to carry out His decree. What are means? The Free Dictionary defines means as “A method, a course of action, or an instrument by which an act can be accomplished or an end achieved.” Since God has created a world that runs logically, it makes sense that most of the time certain actions produce certain outcomes.  If we run our car into a building, we can rightly conclude that our car will most likely be damaged. Flip a coin, and it will most likely land on heads or tails.

Knowing God ordinarily uses means keeps us from lethargy. While God could provide for us without us lifting a finger, He ordinarily provides by having us work. To say “If the Lord wills, this will happen,” but not use that which we know usually produces the result we seek is foolishness. This applies to our spiritual lives as well. God uses the means of grace to aid the Christian in holiness. If you wish to grow in godliness, but never pray or attend a worship service, then you disregard the very means that God provides for your benefit! So while the use of means may be part of “ordinary providence”, there is nothing dull about how God uses His means to accomplish His will.

Questions to Consider

  • Have you been disregarding God’s ordinary providence?

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